April 6, 2021

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

… She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni…”

Many things could be said about this passage; I will suggest only two. The first is the relatively obvious point that the first resurrection appearance was not to the apostles but Mary Magdalen. She was also commissioned to bring the good news of the resurrection to the apostles. For this reason, she was called “the apostle to the apostles” in the early Church. Her feast day was treated the same as theirs, with a singing of the Gloria as well as the Creed. It was only in later years that she became a converted prostitute. We could well use this day to consider how we treat women in the Church.

The second point is a reflection on the two sentences highlighted above. As in so many early resurrection appearances, Jesus is not immediately recognized. Here, Mary, distraught about the disappearance of Jesus’ body in the tomb, thinks the appearance of the first person she sees is only a gardener. It is just when that gardener calls her by name that she realizes that she is actually in the presence of her risen Lord. Earlier in the gospel, we are reminded that Jesus calls his own by name and that the sheep follow him “because they recognize his voice.” Our ability to truly follow Jesus and to recognize him in the Eucharist also hinges on the deep love that we have for the Lord. “Following him” also implies that we have that same deep love for one another that Jesus had for his sheep.

Let Us Pray: 

O loving Jesus helps me recognize your voice when you call me in the poor, the sick, and the lonely. May I be a proof of your continued presence among us.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.