Sunday, April 16, 2017

Go Tell

God raised this Jesus; of this, we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear." Acts 2:32-33

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." Matthew 28:8-10

From “The Wreck of the Deutschland” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To the happy memory of five Franciscan Nuns, exiled by the Falk Laws, drowned between midnight and morning of Dec. 7th, 1875. [Written in late 1875 and 1876, the occasion of Hopkins' resumption of poetry; here his work begins to exhibit the unusual features for which he became famous. This is just the last of 35 stanzas; the Mother Superior is praying to Our Lady for herself, her sisters and her fellow-passengers as they are about to drown.]

            Dame, at our door
            Drowned, and among our shoals,
        Remember us in the roads, the heaven-haven of the Reward:
            Our King back, oh, upon English souls!
    Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east,
   More brightening her, rare-dear Britain, as his reign rolls,
        Pride, rose, prince, hero of us, high-priest,
Our hearts’ charity’s hearth’s fire, our thoughts’ chivalry’s throng’s Lord.

The tomb is empty. The lilies still grace the altars. The notes of Handel’s Messiah still echo in our ears. Easter, after all, is big news…the biggest news in Christendom. This news so big that the Gospel of the Resurrection cannot be contained in the readings for just one day. In essence, we celebrate Easter every day, in every Mass, as we commemorate the Paschal Mystery and all that we believe. However, the actual feast spreads out over this entire week.

In our first reading, Peter proclaims the Good News of what has happened. In the Gospel, the two Marys run to announce the news. However, along the way, they encounter the Risen Christ for the first time. Like John, they immediately recognize what has happened. They embrace his feet, feet which were anointed by oils just days earlier before the Passover.

We hear of another reaction, though. The soldiers see the empty tomb as well. When they run to their leaders that the tomb is empty, they are immediately told to spread the false story that the body was stolen.

Where are we running today? What will we do if we encounter the Risen Christ along the way? Will we even recognize him?

"Let Him easter in us." -- Gerard Manley Hopkins
Photo credit:  By Frederick Whymper - From page 652 of the 1887 book The Sea: its stirring story of adventure, peril & heroism., Volume 1. Uploaded by the British Library to Flickr here, rotated and cropped.This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections.

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