GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY -18TH APRIL 2O17
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 18TH APRIL 2O17
FIRST READING: Acts 2:36-41
PSALM: Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
GOSPEL: John 20:11-18
THEME: WITNESSES OF THE RESURRECTION
Women, according to Jewish law, were not qualified to be witnesses. In fact in Israel, the disqualification of women as witnesses was abolished only in 1951 by the Equality of Women’s Rights Act 5711.
Strikingly, in the Gospels, women are said to be the first witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. This proves that the Gospel writers were very truthful about what they narrated as events surrounding the resurrection of Christ. They simply narrated what had happened. If the resurrection accounts were cleverly invented myths, the Gospel writers, in the context of their time, would definitely not have used women as their first witnesses.
Our Gospel text for today singles out Mary Magdalene as the first to have witnessed the resurrected Christ. She subsequently received a message from the risen Lord to be delivered to the disciples. For this reason many Church writings consider her as an “apostle to the apostles.”
The divine choice of Mary Magdalene, a woman who was delivered of “seven demons” (cf. Luke 8:2), as a witness of the resurrection of Jesus drives home an important lesson, i.e. the choice of God is not based on human criteria. God can choose anybody he wants to proclaim his message. It is all a question of who is available. Whereas the others had left the tomb and gone home, Mary Magdalene kept watch seeking the Lord in tears. Her waiting was not in vain. She saw the Lord and became a witness.
The mode of Christ’s revelation of himself to each one of us differs but indeed he does reveal himself in particular ways to every believer. We need to be prayerfully attentive and discerning and we will certainly experience the power of the resurrection in the events of our lives. May this octave of Easter, therefore, be a time of faith-sharing, as we witness to one another how the resurrected Christ has revealed himself to us.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, my heart is ready. Make me a witness of your resurrection. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen)