One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

April 17, 2006

For Easter Tuesday

John 20:11-18

Today in the Gospel, it is early Sunday morning.
At the Lord’s tomb she sees two angels.
One angel sits precisely where the master’s head had lain.
The other sits precisely where the feet had been.
Without saying a word, the two sitting angels already testify:
Here is exactly where he used to lay dead.
Here is where the gravity of death used to hold down his head,
and here is where the gravity of death used to hold down his feet.

The seated angels are a sign of triumph over the gravity of death that used to be, but is no longer.
The first words they speak to Mary Magdalene contain ironical knowledge.
Though they do not say it in exactly the following way, it is nonetheless the meaning their words contained.
why are you weeping when he has made all things new?

Her answer is still stuck where things used to be.
They have taken my Lord,
and I DON’T KNOW where they have laid him.

Then the Lord himself comes to her, but she is stuck in what used to be, and she doesn’t recognize him in his newness.
So, his question to her contains the same meaning as the words of the angels.
why are you weeping when I have made all things new?

She remains stuck in what used to be.
if you carried my DEAD Lord away,
tell me where you laid my DEAD Lord,
and I will take my DEAD Lord.

Up to now, the angels and Christ have spoken to Mary from out of what is new, and she, stuck in what used to be, is not able to understand.
So, Christ— for the moment— reaches into what used to be, and he calls her by her old name.

Her old name— and it actually means “bitter one.”
That’s where she is.
Now she knows who he is.
However, he is not going to stay with her in the past, nor is he going to let her stay there.
Stop holding on to me.
I ascend to the Father,
my Father who is your Father,
my God who is your God.
Stop holding on to me,
but leave this place.
Go, and do as I say.
Tell my brothers.

So, Mary makes a fourth trip this morning (she has already made three).
She now leaves behind the defeated tomb once and for all.
She goes and tells the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”— the Lord who makes all things new.
You and I have made a trip here to celebrate the defeat of death.
We see what only looks like bread and wine.
Yet, it is really our Lord, Rabbouni, making all things new.
He wants us to tell our neighbors the same message he had Mary Magdalene tell: that his Father is their Father also.
Because of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Christ commissions us also to say what Mary Magdalene said, “I have seen the Lord.”
Christ himself gave a similar testimony.
He said, “I have seen the Father” … and, “Whoever sees me sees the Father”.
In his Eucharist, Christ the Son and Image of the Father lives, shows, gives and is life, growth and newness for others.
He sends us to be the same.

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The Preface for this Mass (the "Easter Perspective" on the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We praise you with greater joy than ever on this Easter day, when Christ became our paschal sacrifice. He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed our death; by rising he restored our life. And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy....

That God Be Glorified in All


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