This is the next-to-last installment of Cornerstone’s Lenten Devotional. We hope you have found it encouraging and helpful during this season. If you live in or around San Francisco, we also invite you to join us for Easter weekend. Click here to visit our website.
Theme: NEW BEGINNING
SCRIPTURE READING – Lectio Divina
If you have never done Lectio Divina, don’t worry. Just click on the link above for a description. To start; get yourself into a comfortable reading position…take a few slow, deep breaths…and relax…let a few moments pass to clear your mind so that God’s word may come to rest within you. Now, you are ready to begin…and we pray that our Lord would richly bless you in this time of reflection!
The Woman in Tears
John 20:1, 11-18
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance…
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
MEDITATIVE READING – Timothy M. Gallagher
I watched Mary Magdalene come to the tomb in the early morning. She sees that the stone has been taken from the entrance…She does not look in, runs to find Simon and John, and returns after they leave the tomb.
Now she stands alone outside the tomb. She stands, unable to leave, afraid to look into the darkness of the tomb. Her tears fall…yet still she remains there. I watch with reverence, I seek to understand those tears…I sense that she seems frozen in her sorrow.
I marvel now at her courage: “As she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.” She faces her pain, her fear: she looks into the darkness of the tomb…and finds that it is not as empty as she feared. A process begins that leads her from her tears to the Lord.
The angels ask: “Woman, why are you weeping?” I hear this question directed to my heart as well: Why are you weeping? Why is your heart heavy as you live day by day?
She sees the “gardener,” not recognizing Jesus who is already there with her, even as her tears fall…”Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” I answer this question, speaking to the Lord from my heart.
“Jesus said to her: ‘Mary.” Simply her name…I hear him pronounce my name…That one word says everything to me, as it does to Mary.
“Rabboni!” One word…which says everything. She knows now that he is alive, and will live forever, that he is with her, that his love will never leave her, that he calls her by name. She is no longer the woman in tears…I speak now to the Lord. I respond from my heart to his greeting.
The encounter becomes mission: “Go to my brethren and say to them…Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples: “I have seen the Lord.” I feel the joy, the delight, the energy, with which she proclaims the risen Lord.
“I have seen the Lord.” I speak with Mary Magdalene, I speak now with Jesus, and ask that this too be the central reality of my life, and my message to the world.
Now I sit with Mary. I gaze upon her face, and see there her radiant joy. I see the deep happiness of knowing herself loved, loved infinitely, loved forever…My heart now speaks …
After the Prayer
1. What word in this Scripture most spoke to my heart?
2. What touched my heart in this time of prayer? What did my heart feel as I prayed?
3. What did I sense the Lord saying to me?
The father took his only Son and sent him into the world so that through him the world might be saved. At the river Jordan and on Mount Tabor he blessed him with the words, “This is my Son, the Beloved, my favor rests on him…listen to him.” The blessed one was broken on a cross, “pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins.” But through his death he gave himself to us as our food, thus fulfilling the words he spoke to his disciples at the last supper. “This is my body which will be given for you.”
It is in this life that is taken, blessed, broken, and given that Jesus Christ wants to make us participants. Therefore, while breaking bread with his disciples, he said, “Do this as a memorial of me.” When we eat bread and drink wine together in memory of Christ, we become intimately related to his own compassionate life. In fact, we become his life and are thus enabled to represent his life in our time and place.
Show Me the Way, pp. 40-41.
Scripture references – John 3:16; Matthew 3:17 and 17:5; Isaiah 53:5; and Luke 22:19.
ADDITIONAL POINTS OF REFLECTION FOR THE WEEK (Optional)
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
Read Mark 14:12-65 and 15:1-47
Out of obedience Jesus was baptized; out of obedience he suffered and died so that I can have new life. Does the way I live my life reflect that I embrace this gift — the gift of Christ’s life for me?
Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53
Jesus is available to me when I suffer. Am I available to him?
Read John 21:2-14
Have I learned to recognize the presence of the risen Lord in my life? Where and when have I seen him working wonders?