Angels appear to the women
a) Reflection on God’s Word
On Sunday, very early in the morning, while it is still dark, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come to the garden where Jesus was buried. Near the tomb they are suddenly frightened by a great earthquake. Here an angel of the Lord appears to them. They see him descend from heaven, come and roll back the large stone from the door of the tomb and sit on it. Perplexed, the women look at the angel’s face. His countenance is like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow shining in the sun. Even the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb are witnesses of this glaring appearance. But now they are lying on the ground like dead men, shaking for fear of the angel’s presence. Likewise the women are frightened, yet they look at the angel with hope.
Now the angel says to them: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” (Mt 28:5-7)
After them, some other women come to the tomb, bringing spices and fragrant oils. They enter the tomb and do not find the body of the Lord Jesus. But what they see is two men in shining garments. The men say to them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen...” (Lk 24:5-6)
I, too, often seek the living among the dead, when I am in the spirit of unbelief, selfpity or other deceit. But Jesus is not there, in that spirit. Through repentance I need to break with this spirit so that I may meet the living Jesus.
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): We all repeat: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; He is risen.”
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We all say together: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa”, and one of us adds: “You are risen! You are God!”
d) Song (5 min): I personally experience the joyful news brought by the angel: “Jesus is risen!” Song: “Jesus our Lord is alive”.
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
a) Reflection on God’s Word
Christ appeared first to Mary Magdalene. She was a witness of the moment when early in the morning the angel rolled away the stone and announced that Jesus was not in the tomb, for He was risen. She brought word to His disciples but afterwards ran back to the tomb, where she met with the apparition of angels for the second time. The angel said to her: “Why are you weeping?” She answered: “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her: “Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him: “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him.”
She did not know Jesus until He opened her eyes and called her by name. Only then she cried out: “Rabboni!”, which means: “Teacher!”
Jesus had delivered Mary Magdalene from demons and forgiven her all her sins. Jesus asks you too: “Whom are you seeking?” Your pleasure, sin? You will not find happiness in it. Are you seeking Jesus? Are you seeking His face in prayer? Where is Jesus? He answers: “I am with you always, all the days of your life.” (cf. Mt 28:20)
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): We all repeat: “Jesus said: ‘Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’” (Jn 20:15)
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): Realize from what specific dependence Jesus has delivered you: alcoholism, impurity, fear, careerism...
We all say together: “Rabboni”, and one of us adds: “I am seeking You! You have delivered me from sinful dependence!”
d) Song (5 min): I personally experience that Jesus is here and that He is calling me by name. I sing the song: “Jesus, You’re the sweetest name of all...”, and bow low to the ground. I thank Jesus for delivering me from my dependence.
(I make a bow)
The risen Jesus appears to the women
a) Reflection on God’s Word
The women who brought fragrant oils were witnesses to an empty tomb. Thereafter they saw two young men (cf. Mt 27:52-53) who said to them that Jesus had been risen from the dead, and sent them to go and tell His disciples. Yet their words seemed to the apostles like idle tales (cf. Lk 24:9-11).
The women returned to the tomb and when they were leaving, Jesus Himself met them, saying: “Rejoice!” The women came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them: “Fear not!” (Mt 28:9-10)
The devil and his people use a number of psychological methods to intimidate those who want to live with Jesus and witness to Him.
Jesus is true God. He overcame sin and death. The women worship Him – the only true God. Jesus encourages them: “Fear not!”
Whom or what do I worship? Money? Material things? Career? False philosophies? Modern psychologies? Public opinion? Unclean spirit? Sin or pagan practices? Whom or what do I fear? Ridicule? Psychological pressures? People? Jesus now says even to you: “Fear not!”
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): I live out the encounter of women with Jesus, and now also my encounter with Him.
We all repeat: “Jesus appeared to the women and said: ‘Fear not!’”
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): I realize that I need to change my way of thinking. What do I fear in particular? Now I give my fear to Jesus and confess that in this very thing I trust in Him.
We all say together: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa”, and one of us adds: “I don’t fear, I trust in You.”
d) Song (5 min): I personally experience that the risen Jesus is here now. During the song “Adoramus Te Domine” (We adore You, O Lord) I bow to Him. I thank Jesus for helping me at any time in the past.