Lectio Divina: 2021-04-02

Our Lectio group considered the Gospel for Easter Sunday Year B.

Jn 20:1-9 “He must rise from the dead.”

One

May the blessings of Easter abide in all our homes, now and always. Amen.

John 20:9 says “They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead”. We obviously do not understand the mysteries of life as much as we do not understand the deep meaning of Scripture without the direction of the Holy Spirit.

And as with Adam all die, even so with Christ shall all be made alive. It is important that Jesus should rise from the dead. Death had to be conquered as death is the consequence of sin. Jesus having conquered sin had to rise again that we might rise with him through faith into eternal life.

I struggle with the issue of the Resurrection as it is beyond my logical and scientific reasoning. I believe, only because I believe in Jesus and that Scripture is God breathed. Thank God that we are saved by grace and not by works. I thank God that He died that I may live. Jesus’s rising from the dead gives us hope for a renewed life and joy forevermore.

As we celebrate Easter, remembering the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the main stay of our belief and faith, may we feel the hope of new beginnings, love and happiness.

Two

There are two phrases that strike me today. Firstly: ‘Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark.’ To me this doesn’t mean the time of day but that it was dark because Jesus was gone from them.’ It only became light when the disciples realised that Jesus had risen from the tomb after Mary Magdalene had told them that she had seen Jesus alive. Good Friday is a day of very mixed emotions. We are sad because Jesus was so cruelly treated and died on a cross when he had done nothing wrong. He died for our sins and to save us so we could have a place with our Father in Heaven. That is truly awesome. It is also a very joyous day for that very same reason. The second phrase is ‘They did not understand.’ We don’t have to understand. We just need to believe. St Alphonsus Ligouri said about the Eucharist, which applies to all the mysteries, “I can only answer that this is a mystery of faith above my comprehension and that the love of Jesus cannot be understood.

A prayer from St. Alphonsus.

Let us fix our minds on the ways of God.
Let us resolve to meditate each day on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us resign ourselves in peace to God’s plan for us.
Let us endeavour, in the time remaining to us, to give all to God.
Jesus has given Himself to us, may God help us to give ourselves to Him.
Amen.

God bless you all and keep you safe. Have a holy and happy Easter

Three

‘ He saw and believed’

Neither Peter nor John came to believe in the Resurrection without enduring confusion and uncertainty.

Their running to the tomb indicates their inner desperation; but out of confusion comes hope. The empty tomb can only mean one thing Jesus is truly alive, raised up and transformed by the father.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.
Jesus is RISEN ! never to die again.

After the anguish of the last few days it is time for immense joy.
Christ is RISEN ! Alleluia and be glad.

Wishing everyone God’s richest blessings this Easter.

Four

‘Started running’ = We remember the joy when we ran into the outstretched arms of our parents. We felt loved when they picked us up and wrapped their arms around us. This Easter especially I want to experience the same unconditional love of the Lord. I don’t want to walk or even run towards his loving arms. Have I enough faith to SPRINT towards the risen Lord?

Five

My words today are ‘running together’ you can feel the urgency in these words to hurry to see what has happened – they could have dismissed Mary and said she was making it up – but they went. Hope carried them. Love drew them.

Sometimes when I can be disappointed or saddened by my circumstances my get up and go has gone. This happened only just this week but yesterday my faith deep within my spirit led me to pray, to praise God, to worship, to seek Him just for who he is not a prayer to change my circumstances.

After I had done this I felt His healing power fill me, revive me and I felt the peace that passes understanding.

God is so good. He is alive.

This time last year my mum died, I want to give thanks to God that she gave me the most precious gift of all, that of faith in Jesus, the lifter of our heads, the saviour of our souls.
I think today God is just saying keep running into His arms even when I don’t understand my circumstances.

The disciples discovered that Jesus had risen and I know that too. He is the same today, yesterday and forever. He is Alive !!!

God bless you all

Six

Easter greetings. Our tradition is to fly kites and eat fish cakes on hot cross buns on Good Friday. The cross sticks on the kites soaring high reminding us that He will rise. The fish cakes are made and there’s is great excitement outside as the wind is roaring and the parents and children are pitching their kites. It’s a beautiful sight to see the tissue paper kites withstand such power with their tails dancing almost in defiance of the wind.

John 20:1-9 While it was dark

At the beginning of the creation story we read that there was total darkness and God’s power was moving. It was dark when Mary Magdalene was walking to the tomb. Did she feel God’s power supporting her, or, in her sorrow feel abandoned and alone? We will never know.

The poetry of John of the Cross poured forth from a very dark period in his life and I want imagine that the beauty of these words may have described Mary’s experience as she made her way to the tomb to say farewell to her beloved.

….without light or guide
Save that which burned in my breast
This light guided me
More surely than noonday
to the place he was awaiting me

Mary was going to Him who had transformed her with his love and found him gone. It is hard to imagine the depth of her grief at that moment. Did she enter that awful dark place where we are so lost, it feels as if God has abandoned us forever.? But we know her sorrow soon turns joy as she witnesses the risen Christ. Hallelujah!!!

Mary’s story is telling me that even though I know Christ is with me, there will be times when I will find myself in dark places and feel lost and alone, but if I don’t panic and hold on to my faith I will be drawn to the light and the joy will come again, I will sense God’s presence and our relationship will be renewed and strengthened.

I remained, lost in oblivion;
my face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

Song of the souls

Seven

Thank you all for the riches you have revealed to me.

‘and still dark’ spoke to me.

I just happened to have been reading Richard Rohr’s the Divine Dance before Lectio.
There are no coincidences with God and what an amazing poem J shared.
I came across this:

Is 45:3

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.”

Ps 97: 2

“Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”

I wish you all a Blessed Easter. May your spirit dance.

Eight

My words were ‘they failed to understand…’

Sometimes in life we don’t understand why things happen till time past; only then we realise that it was God’s Will. This Gospel tells me that in the future, when things have no sense and I don’t understand why or what I am going through, I have to leave everything to God and go with it. Be chill!

I think God is telling me not to worry, God has a plan for me, even if I felt to understand what is about.

And I felt joyful because God has Risen!!!

The Risen God bless you all!!!

Nine

Two things called my attention: ‘We’ (don’t know where they have put him), and ‘he saw and he believed.’

I believe that We included the other women that company Mary of Magdala, even they are not mentioned in this Gospel. But, also, Peter and John.

None of the disciples of Jesus were actually present at the moment of His Resurrection, but they saw the signs of that Resurrection and only then they understood and they believed what Jesus had told them.

We didn’t see with our own eyes not the moment of the Resurrection, neither the signs Peter, John or the women saw, and yet we believe by their witness.

I give you thanks Lord, because for us it has been very easy, other disciples, through the generations, not only have past the Good News, but as well we have received clarification, explained the relation in between the Scriptures and the events.

I don’t know if I see myself arriving to the tomb walking with the women or exhausted after running with Peter and John. ( Somehow the later has more sense for me). I am also puzzled by the open tomb, going in and finding that there was not the body of Jesus. Which means for me today that the Body of Christ, us, His Church, can’t live in a tomb, we can’t live in Jesus’ Death, we, as Church, only have sense by living in His Resurrection. And by passing the Good News, indeed, that Christ our Lord came to this world to give all the opportunity to live, to save us.

Yes, Jesus loved me, everybody, so much that offered himself to torture and dead for me, us all; and gives us life because He conquered dead and IS RISEN. ALLELUIA!
I wasn’t there, I didn’t see the signs, but I believe. THANK YOU LORD!

On reflection

After I sent my reflection I remembered a poem entitled Mary Magdala by a favourite poet Patricia Clemens Repikoff. Her beautiful words moved me and seemed to offer such hope to those of us who have been in very dark places and have felt the transforming power of God’s love ❤️ it is a very long poem so I am just sharing some verses.

I sing songs
from empty tombs
I sing of dawn’s dance
with darkness
I am Mary of Magdala………..

I met him in my darkness
I was in my tomb then
My spirit had died long before
My body an empty gourd
My heart a hollow hideout
for any lost
wild spirit……..

He helped me sift through shards
of dreams and frozen tears.
He helped me reclaim my treasure
He danced delight
at so much God in me
too long hidden…………..

And on this morning
all I found
was emptiness
my old wound
gashed open……..

“MARY…”
(Wait, this voice was no Gardner, no soldier…
This voice was tender
This voice bid my heart rise and dance!)

He appeared with dawn
We wept in wonder.
And we danced – we danced –
(Trumpets may have blared)

We danced in the dawn light
clothes streaming
(Choruses may have echoed at the wonder of it)
We sighed surprise and wept diamonds’
We danced.