Prayer in Eastertime

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 16,9-15

Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils. She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him. After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country. These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either. Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Differently from the other evangelists, the evangelist Mark writes a short account of the three apparitions: to Mary Magdalene, to the two of Emmaus and to the Eleven in the Upper Room. They are all sent in the world to proclaim the Gospel of love that defats death: "Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus had freed from seven demons, also for the second evangelist is the "first" person to announce the Gospel of resurrection to the disciples. She, who "had loved much," and consequently had much forgiven, receives the privilege of being the first disciple of the Risen One and the first person given the task of announcing the resurrection. The apostles do not believe her; they are still slaves of the mentality of this world. It is not enough to be "mourning and weeping" to love Jesus. Our personal feelings, our thoughts, our considerations are not enough: what counts is listening to someone else who communicates the Gospel in the name of Jesus. Humility is the door to access faith. It requires listening, attention to something that is not ours, and that comes from up High. Here is the voice of a woman who has seen the risen Lord. Since the first moment after his resurrection, Jesus uses the weakness of this woman to confound the disciples' presumption. With great spiritual wisdom, the Byzantine tradition calls Mary Magdalene the "apostle of the apostles." This Gospel suggests to us that every single disciple is entrusted with the task of communicating Jesus' resurrection, his victory over evil and death. This is why the first people to announce the Gospel of Easter are not the apostles, but a woman and two anonymous disciples.