Daily Reflection: 18 April 2017

Today’s readings can be found here.

Reflection:

Just like yesterday, today we continue with the resurrection accounts. Comparing today’s scene between Jesus and Mary Magdelene with today’s first reading from Pentecost helps us to better understand the relationship between faith and reason.

In the Gospel, Mary is distraught, so much so that she can’t even recognize Jesus. It is only when he calls her by name that she is able to see him. The way he said her name is what tipped her off that it really was Jesus. This is because she a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. He desires the same for you and me. What brings her to faith, to believe is a relationship and encounter with Christ.

In the first reading, Peter is preaching to the crowds. These will become some of the first Christians who did not know Jesus personally when he was walking on Earth. What leads them to believe? The testimony of Peter. Specifically it mentions that Peter made many arguments in defense or explanation of Christ. It is because of these arguments, this logic, or reason, that these people come to believe.

We see the crowds, and Mary Magdelene, who both believe in Jesus, but from different perspectives or motives. It is not that one group has faith and the other, reason. They both have faith and reason, as do you and I. It is not an either or, we are called to cultivate both gifts. We can have both a deeply personal and intimate relationship with God, and use our minds to better understand God, the Gospels, and the teachings of the Church. The readings today demonstrate not only our need for both but also different people will come to Christ through different means or motives.

How do I understand the relationship between faith and reason? What do I need to do to cultivate these gifts?

Daily Reflection: 17 April 2017

Today’s readings can be found here.

Reflection:

Just as last week‘s readings allowed us to unpack the various accounts of the Last Supper, this week’s readings, during what is known as the Octave of Easter, allow us to unpack the Resurrection accounts.

On Friday morning someone  posed the question to me and some others about the relationship between the placing the Eucharist in the Tabernacle and the tomb. It’s a good a honest question which can lead us to grow in our faith and understanding of the Paschal Mystery. I believe today’s Gospel provides us with an answer.

Note how the women know that Christ is risen, without having seen him yet. They know this by seeing the empty tomb, that alone is proof of the resurrection for them. Their next move is to run. They run away from the tomb, even though it is this great sign, they don’t stay there to contemplate or check it out some more, they run.

Yet, along the way they encounter the risen Lord, and what is their reaction? This time they don’t run, they embrace his feet and do him homage. This is what we do every time we enter a Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is kept in a Tabernacle. 

The women don’t run from the tomb for no reason, rather they do this to share the news with others. So it’s not that the tomb is bad, and the Tabernacle is good. These two things reflect for us two key elements of our faith. On one hand we are called to pray, spend time with Jesus, and grow in a relationship with him. On the other hand we are called to share our faith with others.

Perhaps today’s Gospel can provide us with sort of a check up. How am I sharing my faith with others, or am I afraid? How is my relationship with Christ, am I spending time with him in the most Blessed Sacrament?