• Mary Jo Barr

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter



Mass Readings

Reading 1 ACTS 2:36-41

On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people, “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.


Gospel JN 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene 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, “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 went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.


REFLECTION

Do people call you by different versions of your name? Does you family call you by a nickname? Do your friends call you by another name? Does your spouse call you by his/her special name?


My baptismal name is Mary Jo. My great aunt, Nanny, wanted me to be named Mary Joseph or Mary Josephine. So whenever my Nanny wanted to get my attention she'd call, "Mary Joseph!" I'd run to her. My siblings would simply call me, "Mary." My mother would call me "Mary" most of the time, but occasionally especially at school she'd call me "Mary Jo." Then my dad and my uncle would call me "Jo."

When I got married, my husband called me "Mary" or "Mom" around the children. All my names were endearing to me because of the people who chose to call me by them.


John's Gospel 20: 11-18 has always been one of my favorites. Why? I identify with Mary of Magdala. She has witnessed and grieved over the tortured, the insulted, the nailed and crucified body of her beloved Lord, Jesus Chirst! His death is fresh in her mind. She has arrived at the tomb to possibly say her last good-by and to come to grips with the reality of His death only to find that His body is gone! She weeps out of despair that her beloved Jesus' is missing. She senses someone nearby and questions him about the whereabouts of her Jesus, her teacher, and her rescuer. Then she hears "Mary." Immediately she recognizes His voice. In that moment the earth was still.


So how could I identify with Mary of Magdala? My husband had suffered for eleven years with an incurable cancer. On April 9th my husband collapsed and died. I had been with my husband through every treatment, procedure, and each painful recovery. On my way home, I wept. I felt lost, and I was in disbelief that he was gone. Mechanically, I walked into my house through the front door and I heard my name, "Mary." I stopped. Looked around. No one. I can't explain it, no one was there, but the compassionate voice I heard say "Mary" was soothing and sounded like my husband. I hoped that I would wake up from this nightmare and he was home. Then I realized that I am suppose to let him go because he will still be with me. Peace filled me.


Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.

Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.


Losing someone you love is heart wrenching. Many of us are experiencing this feeling of loss at this very moment since we cannot receive Jesus, Sacramentally. Let us continue to intensify our prayers and ask for God's forgiveness and mercy. Please, continue to pray 10 Hail Marys and ask others to join you.

God bless you all and Christos Anesti!










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