Eastern Africa Dominican Friars

 

Tuesday in Easter Week

Saint for the day: Blessed James Oldo (1364-1404)

Scripture readings for today's liturgy:

Acts 2:36-41

Psalm 33

John 20:11-18

“I heard the Lord call my name. Listen close and you’ll hear the same.”

 One of the most rewarding times of my life was the semester I spent in Israel in late 1983. The program was offered by Catholic Theological Union (Chicago) and we were housed in a former Franciscan seminary in Ein Karem, a short distance from Jerusalem. On occasion I would stay overnight in the Old City and I usually “book ended” this time by visiting the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchral in the late afternoon (when most of the tourist crowds weren’t around) and early in the morning for the 4:30 Mass in the Tomb. There is something spectacular about being at the Tomb of Jesus for Mass. Especially in the dark and quiet of the early morning. I also remember sitting quietly in the little space at the entrance to the Tomb – called the “Angle Room” – usually all by myself – and, in the late afternoon. The familiar Gospel song “I heard the Lord call my name. Listen close and hear the same” would float through my mind. I would sometimes expect to open my eyes and see an angel standing there and asking me, “What are you doing? He is not here. He’s been raised!”

It was always a reminder to me that we so often are more comfortable sitting quietly somewhere expecting that the Lord will visit us, forgetting the second part of that greeting, “Go out from here and get on the Way that’s where you’ll meet the Risen Lord.”

Then there’s the other aspect of our encounter with the Risen Lord that, like Mary Magdalene, we want to hold Him close to us. But, again, He tells us “Don’t cling to me. I [am not finished with what my resurrection is all about] and have not yet ascended to my father and your father.”

So, we come to our “bottom line” for today: a reminder that the Lord’s resurrection and ascension is a cycle that must be completed in order for the Holy Spirit – the creative power of God – to be active in our lives. As much as I wanted to remain in the quiet of that little room adjacent to the Tomb – where I wasn’t bothered by any cares of the world – I knew that I must be “out and about” to meet the Lord “on the Way.” Interestingly, it’s our own St. Catherine of Siena who reminds us, “It’s Heaven all the way to Heaven!”

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Scratchpad Reflections by Daniel Thomas

August 2014
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