“Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher)” (Jn. 20 : 15 -16)
Are you still weeping? You shouldn’t be. You should be rejoicing. As Easter people, we have many reasons to be happy! The King has risen from the dead! Do you doubt His resurrection? You shouldn’t! Have faith! Believe before you doubt!
In the days of the Easter week, the homilies at the San Miguel Chapel preached of the many reasons to be happy. People who live in faith are at peace, not because they don’t have problems but because they know the Lord is alive and is amongst them. They are joyful and happy. Fr. Greg Bicomo shared about two people he met during the Holy Week, one who was crying to death over a relatively simple problem, and another one, who had a much, much bigger problem but is still peaceful and hopeful, because, as she said, “I am hopeful because I have the Lord”. Yes, when we have the Lord with us, we can handle any problem, no matter how difficult. And we don’t worry because we believe it to be true 100%!
This Sunday the Catholic Church celebrated the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as the Divine Mercy Sunday. On this date, Pope Francis canonized St. John XIII and St. John Paul II. Two popes who led the Church in difficult times. One a “liberal” and one a “conservative”. While I was a young student in Cebu, I had the privilege of seeing then Pope John Paul II during his motorcade. Just like many of us who had that opportunity, I was in awe, seeing the face of the Vicar of Christ. Yet, we don’t need a life-changing experience to witness for God. Every day, we have many encounters with the Lord, but it’s only that we don’t recognize him in these events. Just like Mary Magdalene, who thought he was the gardener (Jn. 20: 15), the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24: 16), or the appearance to the disciples, when they thought he was a ghost (Lk. 24: 37). Many come to us for help, and yet we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. We haven’t remembered or we choose to forget what He said, “as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me” (Mt. 25:40). Encountering the sick in the hospital or the beggar down the road is also an encounter with the Lord. Just like Mary Magdalene who said, “I have seen the Lord!” (Jn. 20: 18), may we also recognize Jesus in the poor and the needy of our society.
Let us not wait for the Lord to appear for us to believe in Him. He has shown himself to us many times and yet our unbelief disabled our eyes to recognize him. As Jesus said in the Gospel, “Blest are those who have not seen and yet believed.” (Jn. 20: 29). Champions are believers. We believe, before we doubt.