By Catherine Goggins, currently serving with Discipleship Year
let us feast with joy in the Lord!”
When Mary Magdalene first arrived at the tomb she had every reason to be fearful. Days before she had watched a friend be executed by the state and was now alone, certain His body had been taken. I can only imagine what thoughts must have been racing through her head as she ran to tell the others! They had all heard Jesus speak of the resurrection but did not yet understand.
A few months ago I gathered with hundreds of Catholics outside of the White House for a Mass for Muslim refugees. A child held a sign, “Our huddled Mass welcomes your huddled masses.” Aptly describing the formation of our group, we crowded together, not just for warmth, but to hear the Gospel proclaimed.
When it came time for the Eucharist, the presider asked all to stay where we were. “Jesus will come to you,” he said. And so it happened.
That is Jesus’ way. He came to Mary Magdalene in the tomb and comes to us today. She didn’t recognize His face at first, thinking that He was a gardener. We too often fail to see Him, truly present in the Eucharist and in his people, especially in those that suffer from poverty, violence, environmental destruction, incarceration, displacement, and illness. But He comes to us all the same.
When Jesus called Mary by name she immediately recognized her friend and then went forth to announce the good news, becoming the Apostle to the Apostles. Today as we celebrate our resurrected Lord, we pray for the grace to recognize the many ways in which He comes, calling us, like He did Mary Magdalene, to announce the good news.
Focus on: Simple Living: “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth,” Paul’s challenges in today’s second reading. But I do think (and often worry) about the things of this world. Our call to think of “what is above,” should lead us to respond to the cry of the earth and of the poor with great love, reflecting that of our creator resurrected Lord. It is good news indeed that in addressing environmental degradation, and the spiritual crisis that Pope Francis points to at its root, we can live more simply and work towards justice, growing closer to others and God!
Service Inspiration: Dorothy Day’s spiritual life sustained her selfless service and prophetic writing. Radiating hope for the kin-dom of God, her witness challenges me to be faithful, patient, and bold in my work alongside faith communities, as we seek to be more faithful steward of “our common home.” The outcomes of sustainable changes go far beyond reducing the severity of climate change’s impacts. The necessary changes invite us into deeper relationship with our neighbors, creation, and God. We are called to live differently, as Dorothy would say, in order to “build a new society within the shell of the old.”
Forty Days with the Four Pillars of Faith-Based Service: This reflection is part of our annual Lenten Reflection Guide, a collection of reflections written by current and former volunteers. We are pleased to offer this resource through our partnership with the Catholic Apostolate Center.
To download the Lenten Reflection Guide, please click here.
About the Author: Catherine Goggins is a DC and Northern Virginia climate organizer, serving at Interfaith Power & Light through Discipleship Year. She grew up along the beautiful James River and loves potlucks, gardening and going for runs in the woods.