Tuesday of Easter Week
(Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18)
Deacon Luis is known as a happy fellow. His smile beams just about all the time. He is also kind and helpful. One cannot tell from anything in his demeanor that he suffers considerable pain. Arthritis pervades his bones and an injury that has been diagnosed as a cracked pelvis continually reminds him of its presence. He takes a prescribed painkiller, but there appears to be more than that to give him such a gracious countenance. Luis seems to have appropriated the joy of the resurrection which both readings today intimate.
In the gospel Maria is at first sad not only because of the traumatic ending to Jesus’ life but also because she believes that his body has been stolen. When Jesus calls her by name, her tears turn into ecstasy. She cannot help but cling to her teacher and friend. In the reading from Acts Peter advises the Jews not to worry about having crucified God’s chosen one. Rather, he tells them to be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit who not only forgives sins but also instills the hope of eternal life.
So why do some of us Christians today go about with heavy hearts and downcast faces? Pope Francis has commented that many sport a “face of a funeral wake.” It is probably so because they have a hard time accepting the fact that salvation is a gift and not something we earn. Christ has done the work through his death and resurrection. Now we accompany him in joy.