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A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" 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," which means Teacher. Jesus said to her,anythin "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and then reported what he told her.

REFLECTION: Jesus said to her, "Mary!"

The bible teaches us that we have three enemies--the Devil, the World and the Flesh. (Page 10 PAPA Handbook) The devil is real and his whole purpose is to defeat the will of God and is the never relenting enemy of the soul. The world is present now and we live in the world. It is anything that leads us to sin. And the flesh is the sin of temper, moodiness, jealousy, pride, and selfishness to name a few.

When we think of Mary Magdalene we are made more aware of the above enemies as she was possessed by seven different demons. It is unclear to me who of the many women in the miracles that Jesus performed she was. But we do know that after Jesus saved her from the seven demons, she became His loyal follower. She accompanied Jesus wherever He went. Jesus had set her free. She helped provide Jesus and his apostles out of her means (Luke 8:2-3). She stood by His Mother at the cross.

And Jesus choice her to be the first to see Him after the Resurrection and to announce to all that He was alive! Jesus said to her, "Mary!" and she immediately recognized Him.

We can probably relate to the times God has answered our prayers or we have been set free from the bondage of our sins or weaknesses and the hands of mercy are so obvious to us. When we are set free our missionary work for God will know no limits.

"The world looks to the priest because it looks to Jesus! No one can see Christ, but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur and dignity of the priest! " (St John Paul II)

PAPA prays for the priests, their weaknesses and their failures as well as supports them in their continued success in the missionary work for the kingdom of God.

PAPA Foundation
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