April 16 , 2017
“ Christ , our paschal lamb , has been sacrificed ; let us feast with joy in the Lord .”
Reflection by Catherine Goggins , currently serving with Discipleship Year
When Mary Magdalene first arrived at the tomb she had every reason to be fearful . Days before she had watched a friend be executed by the state and was now alone , certain His body had been taken . I can only imagine what thoughts must have been racing through her head as she ran to tell the others ! They had all heard Jesus speak of the resurrection but did not yet understand .
A few weeks ago I gathered with hundreds of Catholics outside of the White House for a Mass for Muslim refugees . A child held a sign , “ Our huddled Mass welcomes your huddled masses .” Aptly describing the formation of our group , we crowded together , not just for warmth , but to hear the Gospel proclaimed .
When it came time for the Eucharist , the presider asked all to stay where we were . “ Jesus will come to you ,” he said . And so it happened . That is Jesus ’ way . He came to Mary Magdalene in the tomb and comes to us today . She didn ’ t recognize His face at first , thinking that He was a gardener . We too often fail to see Him , truly present in the Eucharist and in his people , especially in those that suffer from poverty , violence , environmental destruction , incarceration , displacement , and illness . But He comes to us all the same .
When Jesus called Mary by name she immediately recognized her friend and then went forth to announce the good news , becoming the Apostle to the Apostles . Today as we celebrate our resurrected Lord , we pray for the grace to recognize the many ways in which He comes , calling us , like He did Mary Magdalene , to announce the good news .
As we rejoice in your resurrection , help us to be witnesses to creation testifying to your love ! May the mountains You ’ ve shaped and the sea You ’ ve filled teach us of Your majesty , the rain remind us of Your desire to wash away our sin and may buds of spring fill us with the hope of heaven . May the sparrows , whom You promise to provide for , help us not to worry for ourselves , but to seek a just and sustainable allocation of resources for all . As the days grow longer , remind us that You are the light of the world ! Amen .
Focus on : Simple Living : “ Think of what is above , not of what is on earth ,” Paul ’ s challenges in today ’ s second reading . But I do think ( and often worry ) about the things of this world . Our call to think of “ what is above ,” should lead us to respond to the cry of the earth and of the poor with great love , reflecting that of our creator resurrected Lord . It is good news indeed that in addressing environmental degradation , and the spiritual crisis that Pope Francis points to at its root , we can live more simply and work towards justice , growing closer to others and God !
Service Inspiration : Dorothy Day ’ s spiritual life sustained her selfless service and prophetic writing . Radiating hope for the kin-dom of God , her witness challenges me to be faithful , patient , and bold in my work alongside faith communities , as we seek to be more faithful steward of “ our common home .” The outcomes of sustainable changes go far beyond reducing the severity of climate change ’ s impacts . The necessary changes invite us into deeper relationship with our neighbors , creation , and God . We are called to live differently , as Dorothy would say , in order to “ build a new society within the shell of the old .”
Catherine Goggins is a D . C . and Northern Virginia climate organizer , serving at Interfaith Power & Light through Discipleship Year . She grew up along the beautiful James River and loves potlucks , gardening and going for runs in the woods .
Lenten Reflection Guide - Ash Wednesday , February 18 , 2015