Monday, April 13, 2009

My Father and Your Father

First Reading: Acts 2:36-41
Psalm: Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22
Gospel: Jn 20:11-18


Today, we hear the conclusion to Peter's first public declaration on Pentecost and of Mary Magdalene returning to the tomb after Peter and John had left Easter morning. Jesus appears to her and gives her a message to deliver to the other disciples.

To me, the most moving piece of today's gospel is Jesus' message to Mary:
But go to my brothers and tell them,
'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' - John:20:17
This is such a powerful statement. Jesus is calling his disciples, us, brothers. We have been given the privilege of calling God 'Our Father'. Another passage that comes to mind is John 15:15: I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. As disciples, we are nothing less than friends and brothers (and sisters) of Jesus Christ.

Peter's profession tells us how this is possible. When asked by the crowd what they should do, he tells them
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:38
It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we are connected with God and become kin to our Lord. However, there is a condition. This hidden treasure, this pearl of great wealth, is not free; we must first become disciples of Jesus. We are called to repent of our sinful ways and make a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. It is difficult to make this payment, but what we receive in return is of far greater value.

Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your greatness. You have looked upon us, the created, and given us a place in Your house. Grant that we may be mindful of this great honor, to bear it humbly and to marvel in its worth. We ask this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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