Apr 3 (Easter Tuesday – Jn 20:11-18)

One of the very beautiful verses in the Bible, not too known though… is from the book of the Psalms..

Psalm 56: 8, “O Lord.. You have stored my tears in a bottle”

Another translation would read, “…. You have collected my tears in a wineskin”

This verse speaks volumes of a God who is so intimately related with a person and expresses a very personal and close association.

God is a God who…

… is specially close to His people in their moments of pain and suffering

… is particularly near to His people in their times of affliction and tribulations.

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful witness to this loving concern and tender affection of God.. expressed by Jesus to Mary Magdalene.

We are still near the tomb of the Lord.

Mary Magdalene, the soul who loved the Lord so deeply, is still lingering around the tomb of the Lord.

She had experienced Divine Love in a great manner.

• Her heart could not fully accept that the Lord who had transformed her life was no more

• Her mind could take in the fact that the One whom she loved so deeply had gone away.

And so she kept waiting.

True love always seeks…

>> True love always seeks to break boundaries, do away with hurdles and cast away any barriers

Finally, when she did encounter Him, her eyes were kept away from recognizing the Lord.

But the Lord did recognize her…

… not just her physical pains.. rather also her mental agony and her spiritual longing!

And so He asks her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” (Jn 20:13)

• Mary had been incessantly weeping over the loss of her Beloved

• Mary had been continuously shedding tears for the Lover of her soul.

However… these tears were not in vain….

… these tears were not lost in futility..

Rather, the Lord was storing them up carefully in a vial… in a bottle… in a wineskin

“O Lord.. You have stored my tears in a bottle” (Ps 56:8)

And these tears of affection, love and fondness was rewarded by the Lord, by calling her by name, “Mary!” (Jn 20:16)

The sweetness of that voice, calling out her name, wiped away every tear!

>> Her tears were turned to smiles… her mourning to comfort… her brokenness to immense joy!

Today, we are reminded the same…

We may be shedding many tears before the Lord…

It could be due to many reasons…

… maybe some personal crisis in life…

… maybe some brokenness in the family…

… maybe some tragedy or calamity to our closed ones…

All these may cause us to have tears…either externally or within the depth of our hearts

Some tears may be seen by others…most others, will go unnoticed, invisible

>> Yet, the One who loves us the most – the Lord – is storing up all our tears in His presence

Each one of our tears is precious to the Lord…

Just like Mary Magdalene, who continued to be faithful and longing for the Lord, let us also be steadfast to our God, despite our tears and pains and sadness.

This faithfulness to Him will surely win the reward for us…

… the reward of our names being called out by the Lord!

God bless! Live Jesus!

Apr 2 (Easter Monday – Mt 28 : 8 – 15)

It seems that in the Greek Orthodox tradition, especially in the medieval ages, there was a very strange custom…

… The day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes!

 

 

Yeah.. you read it right…

There was a day set-apart specially, to revel in jokes!

 

 

What was the logic or purpose behind it?

 

It was felt that this custom was in imitation of the cosmic joke that God pulled on Satan in the Resurrection.

 

 

Satan considered that the death of Jesus signaled victory for him.

>> The Kingdom of darkness had conquered… so it was felt!

>> The world of misery had overcome all goodness… so it was felt!

 

 

But it was God who had the last laugh!

God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words.

 

 

The Resurrection – Jesus’ rising from the dead – was the most spectacular joke that God had pulled on Satan.

>> And this was celebrated, symbolically, with the custom of telling jokes.

 

 

Strange it might sound, but there is something worthwhile to reflect in the purpose of this custom…

 

It is a call to celebrate and enjoy God’s magnificent victory over Satan and the powers of darkness.

 

 

 

The Gospel of the Day is the account of the encounter of Jesus with the women, who had come to the tomb of the Lord.

 

  • At the desert, Satan had sought to make Jesus a fool, by tempting and luring Him through many temptations.(Mt 4: 1-10)
  • During His life, the Lord encountered many occasions, when He was subject to being in humiliating, mocking and testing situations
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord once again faced a trying time in battling to embrace God’s Will totally and completely (Lk 22: 41-44)
  • On the Cross, the soldiers and others who persecuted the Lord, mocked and challenged Him to come down from the Cross (Mk 15: 29-32)

 

 

At every stage of His Life, our Blessed Lord was put into situations of being the “butt of jokes” and the “laughingstock” and a target for many a trial, tribulations and mockeries.

>> The Crucifixion was meant to be the greatest of all such “agonizing” mockeries!

 

 

 

But…

… Divine Wisdom always finds a way out to triumph!

… Divine Providence always regains the way to victory!

This is the message of the Resurrection.

 

 

The women who saw the empty tomb and encountered the Lord, were filled with a holy fear, a tremendous joy and a deep devotion (Mt 28: 8-9)

>> Divine Wisdom always, has the final laugh in every trial and tribulation!

 

Are we ready to share in the happiness of this “joyful” act of the Lord?

 

 

 

Life may bite us sharply with ensnaring temptations and evil tendencies…

>> Life may make a fool of us with mounting tensions and troubles…

>> Life may put us down badly with uncertainties and doubts…

 

We may often, find ourselves mocked.

>> We may often, find ourselves ridiculed.

 

 

But in all such situations, let us dare to look to our Crucified Lord…

… who Himself underwent painful mocking and unfair scorning…

>> Yet, had the final laugh, through the Resurrection from the dead!

 

 

The Resurrection gives us…

… every reason to rejoice, even in the midst of deadly trials…

… every cause to be joyful, even in the midst of heavy tribulations…

 

 

May the Risen Lord be the reason for us to rejoice and be joyful, thanking Him for the greatest joke ever – the crushing of Satan by the power of the Holy Cross!

 

 

 

Happy Easter to all of you!

 

God Bless! Live Jesus!