Homilette for Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

(Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18)

A teacher was worried about her job. Economic realities had forced her school district to announce pending cuts of a considerable number of teaching positions. The woman knew that she was competent; indeed, she had received a number of teaching awards. But she was unsure whether her fifteen years of service were enough seniority to survive a brute competition of credentials. The woman prayed and started thinking about how she might cut back her lifestyle in case she was let go. It turned out, however, that she not only retained her job but was given a sizeable raise in salary.

Mary Magdalene’s search for the dead Jesus in the gospel today likewise results in more than she imagined possible. Her devotion to the Lord takes her to his tomb. Evidently she hopes only to be near his remains for in John’s gospel no mention is made of Mary Magdalene’s coming to anoint Jesus nor does it say that she expects the covering stone to be removed. Her faithfulness, however, brings more consolation than she could have ever hoped for. Joy fills her heart as she recognizes her risen Lord.

Life is full of uncertainty and setbacks. As much as we would like to avoid them, we simply cannot. However, we can be faithful to our Lord in these trials with prayer and our best daily efforts. Then, like the teacher in today’s world and Mary Magdalene in the gospel, we too are likely to be surprised by more benefit than we ever thought possible.