Gospel Reflection – Tuesday, April 2, 2024 – John 20:11-18 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 2,36-41)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jews: “Let all the people of Israel recognize with complete certainty: God made this Jesus whom you crucified Lord and Christ.”

When they heard this, their hearts were troubled, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brethren, what should we do?” Peter replied: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

With many other words, Peter gave them testimony and exhorted them, saying: “Save yourselves from these corrupt people!” Those who accepted Peter’s words received baptism. That day, more or less three thousand people joined them.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 20,11-18)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Mary was outside the tomb, crying. As she cried, she leaned over and looked into the tomb. She then saw two angels dressed in white, sitting where Jesus’ body had been placed, one at the head and the other at the feet.

The angels asked: “Woman, why do you cry?” She replied: “They took my Lord and I don’t know where they put him.” Having said this, Mary turned back and saw Jesus standing. But she didn’t know it was Jesus. Jesus asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, Mary said: “Lord, if it was you who took him, tell me where you put him, and I will come and get him.”

Then Jesus said, “Mary!” She turned around and exclaimed, in Hebrew: “Rabuni” (which means: Master). Jesus said, “Don’t hold me back. I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and say to my brothers: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.” Then Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples: “I have seen the Lord!”, and she told them what Jesus had told her.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to share with you a message of hope and renewal, based on two inspiring biblical passages: the First Reading of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2,36-41) and the Gospel according to John (John 20,11-18). These passages bring us profound lessons about the transformation that occurs when we encounter Jesus in our lives.

Imagine, for a moment, the situation of the woman mentioned in the Gospel of John. She goes to Jesus’ tomb and finds it empty. Where is the body of your Lord? She is distressed, with tears running down her face. But then, something wonderful happens: Jesus appears to her and calls her by her name. Her heart fills with joy and hope. What was a deep sadness turns into a personal encounter with the resurrected Christ himself.

How many times have we felt like this woman, lost amidst the anguish and uncertainties of life? We may have experienced losses, disappointments, or challenges that left us disoriented. But the central message of these biblical passages is that Jesus is present in our lives, even when everything seems dark and hopeless. He is always ready to find us, comfort us and lead us to a new life.

In the passage from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter preaches to the people, announcing the resurrection of Jesus and inviting them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. He urges them to change their lives and turn to God. The people’s response was profound and immediate: “Those who accepted his word were baptized, and on that day there were about three thousand people who joined them” (Acts 2:41). This is a powerful demonstration of the impact that the Gospel message can have on our lives when we embrace it wholeheartedly.

Dear friends, just like those people who converted and were baptized, we are also called to repent and open our hearts to the transforming action of Christ. Repentance not only means feeling remorse for our mistakes, but also changing direction, abandoning old ways of living and embracing the new life that Christ offers us.

To illustrate this transformation, I want to share a story with you. There was a man who spent his entire life carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders. He was overwhelmed with worries, fears and guilt. He felt lost, without hope. One day, he heard about Jesus and decided to approach him. Upon finding Jesus, he knelt down and handed his heavy burden into the hands of the Master. And then, something surprising happened: the burden disappeared! He felt a relief he had never experienced before. That encounter with Jesus changed his life forever.

Dear believers, just like that man, Jesus is ready to receive our burdens, our worries and our sins. He invites us to draw near to him, to repent, and to trust our lives in his loving hands. When we surrender to it, we experience a freedom and joy that cannot be found anywhere else.

However, the transformation that Jesus offers us is not just for our personal benefit. Just as Peter announced the resurrection of Jesus and invited the people to convert, we are also called to share this message with the world around us. God’s love cannot be kept secret. We must be living witnesses of the hope we find in Christ, so that others can also be touched by his transforming grace.

Dear brothers and sisters, as we reflect on these biblical passages and the lessons they contain about transformation and encountering Jesus, I want to encourage you to act on this message. Here are some practical guidelines for applying these principles in our daily lives:

Seek the presence of Jesus: Just like the woman in the Gospel, seek the presence of Jesus in your daily life. Dedicate time to prayer, reading the Word of God and participating in the sacraments. Cultivate a personal relationship with Christ, allowing Him to guide your steps and bring light to your darkest situations.

Repent and be renewed: Identify areas in your life that need repentance and change. Let go of old habits and thought patterns that keep you from God. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart, transforming and renewing it day by day.

Share God’s love: Be a living witness of God’s love in your words and actions. Show kindness, compassion and forgiveness to others. Be willing to share your faith and invite people to know Jesus. Remember that personal testimony can have a powerful impact on the lives of those around us.

Practice gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your life. Recognize the blessings God has given you and be grateful for them. Gratitude helps us stay focused on God, even in the midst of difficulties, and reminds us of how good and faithful He is.

Be a source of hope: In a world full of despair and negativity, be a source of hope for others. Offer words of encouragement, support, and comfort. Show people that there is hope in Jesus, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I conclude this homily, I would like to remind you that Jesus is here, in this moment, ready to meet you where you are. He is calling you by name, inviting you to a life of transformation and renewal. No matter what your circumstances, no matter what struggles you face, know that there is hope in Jesus.

May we respond to this invitation with open hearts, ready to receive God’s grace and love into our lives. May we be living witnesses of the transformation that Jesus brings about in us, so that others can also experience the joy and hope that we find in Him.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us, now and forever. Amen.

God bless you!