We’re back in Acts 2 for our first reading today, hearing more of Peter’s great speech at Pentecost. In the Gospel reading from John 20, Mary Magdalene has two amazing encounters; the first with two angels, the second with the risen Lord. Mary does not recognize Jesus until He says to her, “Mary!” She then realizes that it is Jesus. She doesn’t recognize Him until she hears Him calling her by name. Jesus calls you by name. Do you hear Him?
At Pentecost, the people ask Peter what they must do to be saved. Peter replies, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” These are wonderful verses about the necessity of baptism and the sacramental graces poured out in baptism. (Forgiveness of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit.) But what is this promise about which Peter speaks?
Quite simply, the promise is the new covenant in the Blood of Jesus. The promise is eternal life. Because Jesus overcame the power of sin and death, He has promised that, through faith in Him, we, too, will never die. And to whom is this promise made? “To you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” Which brings us full circle back to the Gospel reading. You remember…that whole thing about Jesus calling Mary, and YOU, by name?
Father, we know that you call us by name, and that the promise of eternal life is for us. Help us to always hear your voice, and answer when you call. Amen.
Thank you for your ministry Gus and for helping us on our journey of Faith. I had a profound thought after reading the story of Mary Magdalene seeing Jesus but not recognizing him. How is it that she knew him so well but did not see that it was Jesus standing before her? It is the same for US. Our Lord and Savior stands before us every day and is present. We need to remind ourselves of this and look for him. Do you see him? He is so close you could reach out and touch him.