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Easter Saturday samedi de Paque

Ac. 4,13-21 Ps. 117 Mk. 16, 9-15

Easter Saturday 2nd April 2016

“Jess said ’Go out into the whole world, proclaim the Good News to the whole of Creation.”

Ac.4,13-21 Ps.117 Mk.16,9-15

“Having risen on 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.”

Jesus makes the deliberate choice to appear to Mary Magdalen as the Risen Lord.She recognises Him and believes in Him.

For so long did she follow him on the road, listened to his teaching, and like no one else she knows the marvels he accomplished in her.

She always had trust in him when he was alive, she will have confidence in him when he is risen and alive again.

Let us imagine her amazement as she goes to announce to the disciples the marvellous news of the Resurrection.

She wants to pour balm in their hearts by this news, and they don’t believe her.

Why do they not?

The image we can take for the apostles’ journey is one of an iron, plunged in fire.

The Gospel has us come to Mary of Magdala’s certitude which has the Apostle Paul say : ’For me, to live is Christ.’

The soaked iron is not only reddened in the fire, it is whitened, but it will next be necessary to plunge it into frozen water for it to become unbreakable, and after being soaked like this, the iron will become unbreakable.

After being soaked like this, the iron will not weaken eve again! The image can stop here!

The disciples were open to Jesus at first, then there had been Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, the nine leaving Jesus and abandoning him!

Saint Mark tells how Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and how the Apostles’ doubt turned into an intense freezing of their faith. But they were plunged into the fire of Love of Jesus, this fire of Love made of them disciples faced with a world grown cold.

"After this, Jesus showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way back into the country. These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.Jesus said to them ’Why didn’t you believe?’

Jesus pursues his action of Love in the heart of his disciples. He shows himself under an unusual aspect to the disciples of Emmaus, but their eyes are blinded to the glory of the Risen Lord. Their minds refuse to believe in the resurrection , they will only come to recognise him with the sign of the breaking of the bread.

The disciples behaviour can surprise us, they had known Jesus personally they appreciated his gifts, his heart, the incomparable qualities of his sermons and teaching. And yet, whereas Jesus is already alive and one of the women in the group announces this news to them, they choose not to believe.

Mary, Jesus’ Mother, became Mother of our Faith. She received her Love more and more strongly. As soon as Christ is risen, she gets going, is upright, feeling inner heat. Mary entered into the Mystery of the Risen Lord Jesus. The faith of the Annunciation passed to the fire of the Passion and Resurrection like an Paschal reality, a completely inner passage.

“Lastly Jesus 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.”

In today’s world, nothing has changed very much. The faith in the Resurrection has been commented upon, attested by the faithful, sprinkled with martyrs’ blood. The successors of the disciples like to be identified with them. We are in the situation of the disciples who are faced with this refusal to believe. We need to throw ourselves at Jesus’ feet, for humanity is immerged in ignorance and in a lack of spiritual life, and could be plunged again in the fire of God’s Infinite Love.

Jesus gets out of doubting so as to place in our hearts an inflexible faith which we will never leave, but we need to nourish it.

We contemplate how the Eleven were transformed! Peter and John, uneducated men, reply to the high priest ’It’s up to you to judge, it is best to obey God rather than men. Do what you like, we can’t hide any longer what we have seen."

We ask for the grace to rise with Jesus to proclaim the Good News that comes from God.

EASTER SATURDAY

“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.”

I’ll take the image of an iron plunged into the fire to describe the path taken by the apostles. In fact the Gospel has us meditate upon the experiences we have in our spiritual life. We need to get to the point where St Paul got to when he said, ’For me, to live is Christ“. Before we come to truly love Jesus we need to go through a long journey! We can consider him as our best friend, and yet, at the same time, we over estimate ourselves and put ourselves on a different level.The witness of our conscience tells us to be silent and humiliate ourselves, like the publican who did not even dare lift up his eyes towards Heaven. He struck his breast and kept repeating, ’My God, have mercy upon me, poor sinner that I am.’ The iron that has been plunged into the fire is not only scorched by the fire, but it becomes whitened. It still needs to be plunged into icy water in order to become unbreakable. I can stop the image here! Whereas the disciples were at first open to Jesus, there was Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, the nine abandoning him! The Apostles had neither had the courage nor the strength to follow Jesus. Saint Mark recounts how Mary Magdalen came to the tomb. The Apostles did not believe, and the apostles’ doubt is like an intense cooling down of their faith. But the Apostles had been plunged into the fire of the Love of Jesus, this fire of Love made them into disciples opposing the cold world.”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."

The disciples’ behaviour might take us by surprise. They had known Jesus, they had appreciated his gifts, his heart, no-one had ever preached like he had. So now,

that Jesus is Risen and one of the women of the group announces to them the Good News, they choose not to believe her. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has become the Mother of our Faith. More and more strongly, she received this Love from God. As soon as Christ is Risen, she is standing up straight. She burns from within.Mary entered into the Mystery of the Risen Lord Jesus; the faith of the Annunciation passed to the fire of the Passion and Resurrection like a Paschal feast, a passage lived on the inside. Jesus returns to his Father and the Church continues her Mission in her people, it is the prolongation of the mystery of the Incarnation, of the Passion of the Love of Jesus come into human flesh.

“After this, 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.”

With the news of the Resurrection, the disciples prefer to keep complaining.We have sinned, we have betrayed! For us, after having struck our breast, we throw ourselves at the feet of the Lord Jesus. Mankind, immerged in sin ignorant and in a mediocre spirituality, has to know that today, thanks to the resurrection of Jesus, he is plunged into the fire of the Infinite Love of God. He won’t turn back now.Jesus had us get out of our doubts so as to place into our hearts an unbending faith which we shall always keep.Yet we need to nourish this faith. Let us contemplate the transformation of the eleven disciples! Peter and John, these uneducated men, reply to the high priest: ’It’s up to you to judge, it would be better to obey God rather than men. Do what you like with us, we cannot hide what we have seen."

Let us ask for the grace to rise with Jesus in order to proclaim the Good News that comes from God.