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The Week of April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday - 2018

Brief reflections on the week’s Scripture readings.


The Word…

 When the Sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,

"Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"
When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back...
(from Mk 16:1-7)



Pondering the Word…

I have great respect and admiration for the women portrayed in the Crucifixion and Resurrection stories. They remain with Jesus as he journeys on the road to Calvary. They stand at the foot of the cross, not put off by the horror they are witnessing or the taunts and abuse of the others who walk by. True to the law, they observe the Passover, but at first light, they set out to tend to Jesus’ body, even though they are unsure of how they will move the stone that seals the tomb.

Why don’t some of the men accompany them to help move the stone? Fear perhaps, but I wonder if the women decide to go off on their own to fulfill the rituals for their beloved Jesus. Maybe they think they can convince the guards to allow them this requirement of the law. Or perhaps…perhaps they just decide to trust in God to provide what they need. 

And of course, God does indeed, in ways far more amazing and wonderful than they ever imagined!

Living the Word…

I’m a planner and like to have all the details worked out ahead of time, with Plan B in place just in case. I wonder if I would have been a naysayer that early morning, advising the other women not to go. “How will we move the stone?” “What if the guards arrest or harm us?” Or would I throw my usual caution and need for control to the wind and allow God to provide? 

There is great freedom in letting God take the lead, trusting that God will give us what we need. As I have gotten older, I find I don’t often let my doubts or fear get in the way of doing what I believe God is calling me to do. God comes through in wonderful ways and through unexpected people.

Does a need for control ever stand in the way of doing something you know you are called to do? Does doubt or fear of consequences or failure keep you locked behind closed doors? Do you ever wonder what amazing experiences of God you might be missing?

Apr 2: The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'”
(Mt 28:8-15)

These Roman guards have been through something strange. They can’t explain it but clearly something big has happened. This easy gig--watching over the tomb of a criminal—has now put their lives at risk for dereliction of duty. But instead, they not only get to keep their jobs and their lives, but are given a large sum of money to lie about it. “Hey, no problem,” they think. “We’ll just walk away and forget about the whole thing.” Except they can’t. Have you ever had an experience of the divine you can’t explain? An inkling of something, or a wisp of a vision out of the corner of your eye that you can’t forget? Some would just as soon let it pass without notice. Things like this can be frightening. Or they can assure us of God’s presence, just as the Resurrection can do for us every day. Make the Risen Christ present and alive in your life today. “Most people say ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ St. Ignatius of Loyola says, ‘When I believe it, I will see it.’” (David Fleming, S.J.)

Apr 3:  “Of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.” (Ps 33)

Well, maybe it’s just gone into hiding! That seems to be what the media and our politicians want us to think, because they sure don’t make kindness very obvious. “No news is good news,” so by default, what we see and hear is usually bad news. The Lord’s kindness is everywhere, in everyone and everything, but it can so easily be forced deep into the recesses of our hearts by hurt, rejection, violence, and just plain world-weariness. Yet through patience, compassion, and mercy, it can emerge once more. This is the season of resurrection. Let us all rise above the fray and commit to show kindness to everyone—absolutely everyone--we meet.

Apr 4:  Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”(Acts 3:1-10)

Peter has nothing more, nothing less to give to the crippled man than his faith in Christ. To me, this is the turning point for Peter, when he finally surrenders. Gone is the hesitation, the doubt that plagued him in the past. It is no longer about him, but God working through him. Regardless of what happens, all he can share is his faith. We may find it easier to share what’s in our wallets rather than what’s in our hearts. Look today for opportunities to share your faith and Christ’s love with others.

Apr 5: What is man that you should be mindful of him? You have made him little less than the angels, given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen, the birds, the fishes of the sea.”(Ps 8)

God has given us “rule” over the works of his hands. Have you ever thought about this in light of how you’d like to be ruled? Most of us would like a ruler with a gentle hand who wants only for our good; one who allows us to flourish when we are strong, and cares for us when we are weak. We’d all like the kind of ruler God is for us. Should we not then be the same kind of gentle, caring ruler for Mother Earth and her creatures?

Apr 6:  Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” (Jn 21:1-14)

This is one of my favorite stories in Scripture. It’s the extraordinary—the Risen Christ—in the midst of the ordinary—men who’ve come in from a frustrating night of work, an invitation to a simple meal. No big drama, no earthquakes or lightening. Just the crackle of a fire and breakfast by the sea. And this can be our experience as well if we’re willing to pay attention to the signs, to recognize the Risen Christ in the most commonplace of situations and lives. Be aware. Look for Christ in the people and places you encounter today.

Apr 7: It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:13-21)

As I write this, I see the images of the hundreds of thousands of young people taking a stand at Marches for Our Lives in cities around the world. Those who have seen their friends gunned down in schools and on city streets; those who have heard the cries for mercy, the sobs of anguish from loved ones left behind. “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” Yes, these young people need our sincere “thoughts and prayers,” but even more so, they need our voices, our hands, our feet. Our children need us to have their backs as they forge a better future for themselves and their own children. They are the faces of hope.

Today, on this most joyous of days, take the outstretched hand of the Risen Christ. Let him lead you forward, free from doubts and fear, into the light of new life. Allow him to provide and guide you with the peace the world cannot give. Happy Easter to you all!

© 2017, Elaine H. Ireland.  “Come and See!”

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Elaine Ireland has a passion for working with parents and anyone who struggles to maintain a sense of God’s love and peace amid the day-to-day challenges of life. She has a master’s degree in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from the Pastoral Counseling department at Loyola, Maryland, with a focus on developmental psychology and spiritual guidance.  Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, she is a writer, retreat and workshop leader, and presenter on topics such as pastoral parenting, “letting go,” and finding the spiritual in the midst of everyday life. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with her husband, Mark and children, David and Maggie.


We hope you enjoy "Come and See!" and we welcome your input. Please contact Elaine Ireland at with questions, comments, and responses.


© 2009, Elaine H. Ireland -

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