Today’s readings are full of valuable lessons, warnings, and instructions. Many of the issues faced in the first century and even before are the same things we battle today.
“Save yourself from this corrupt generation.” This line stuck out to me in the first reading. It’s interesting that thousands of years later we are still saying the same thing and not much has changed. Sure, a lot has changed as far as advances in technology and such. Yet, not much has changed in the hearts of men (and women).
In the same reading St. Peter implores his listeners to repent. Sometimes I feel like a broken record, I write a lot about Confession and the importance of it. This is the reason. We are told over and over in the New Testament how healing and crucial it is. Spoiler alert, I do not always love going to confess my sins. When I examine my conscience, it can be extremely humiliating to admit what a sinner I am! And yet, I never regret going. I do not necessarily buy into the saying that it gets easier the more frequently you go. I do not think that is true. However, something that is hard does not mean it’s bad. A lady I like to read has a motto “hard does not equal bad.”
The first reading is followed by the responsorial psalm that states, “The earth is filled with the goodness of the Lord.” This is encouraging! In a news hungry era, we are inundated with what seems like constant bad news. The goodness is out there. It is up to us to find it and spread it. If you cannot find goodness, be the good.
Finally, today’s gospel account is the story of Mary Magdalene going to Jesus’ tomb, only to find it empty! She speaks to who she thinks is a gardener. After hearing Jesus’s voice, Mary realizes she is speaking to her Lord and Savior. The next part struck me! Jesus says, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
As I read those lines over and over, they spoke to me in a personal way. In a recent Confession, the priest asked me to reflect if perhaps I am “holding on” to my family, our children in particular, a bit too tightly. Most people do, he said. We probably all have something we are holding onto too tightly, whether it be money, another material possession, a person or people, earthly life in general…. It will be different for each individual. And only you and God know what it is.
During this Easter season, a season of hope, I pray you will repent and commit to making a habit of it. Secondly, that you find goodness and share it with others. And lastly, do not cling too tightly to anything of this world. Fix your eyes on heaven. For He is there, He is Risen! Alleluia!