Word to the Wise

Monday, April 22, 2019 - Octave of Easter - Mon

[Acts 2:14, 22-33 and Matt 28:8-15]
Mary Magdalen 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]


     Back in the days of black-and-white TV, on Sunday afternoons there was a program called YOU WERE THERE!  It featured a rather youthful Walter Cronkite (remember him?) covering various historical events as if they were happening in "real time."  Events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence or the assassination of Lincoln, etc., were covered.  I don't ever remember the events of Holy Week making an appearance on that program, but it is an interesting challenge to the imagination to reconstruct all that happened.  The evangelists had to deal with so many witnesses and stories in composing their accounts that it's no wonder we have four versions of those events with varying emphases and descriptions!  The one thing that unites them all is that CHRIST IS RISEN!
     We Dominicans revere Mary Magdalen as the first preacher because she discovered the empty tomb and announced this to the fearful disciples.  The Eastern rites of the church refer to her as the "apostle to the apostles."  From that first announcement to a community in shock to our community in celebration there are more than 2000 years of proclamation.  From a small group of fearful and faithful followers of Jesus the message is now proclaimed by more than a billion Catholic Christians and millions more of other Christian communities.  From shock and fear to joyful celebration - it was an emotional roller coaster.  If we read the gospel accounts, that is how we enter into all this experience.  We can answer the question of the old hymn, "Were you there when...."  Our answer is YES!  CHRIST IS RISEN!  ALLELUIA!  AMEN

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