Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Vigil of Easter

Mark 16:1-7

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Eileen Burns

Published: March 31, 2018

Read Mark 16:1-7

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Read More…


What strikes me this time in Mark’s gospel is that the three women “bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.” I am curious on why they would spend precious money on buying spices when they were unsure how they were ever going to get that stone moved to get inside the cave to his body. It was very early and the sun had just risen to end the Sabbath which meant they were in compliance with the law.  What kind of sunrise do you suppose it was that morning?  It turns out those spices would never be used after all but not for the reason they ever imagined!  They walked in and met the young man in the white robe and it terrified them more than if they had come into the presence of the beaten and pierced beloved body in a dark cave. They are given the task to go and tell the disciples to leave and move on to Galilee and “there you will see him.”  Holy Saturday’s gospel leaves off verse 8 which is the traditional end to mark’s gospel: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them…”

And what of us?  Do we prepare to do things even though they seem impossible to accomplish?  What are the spices you are acquiring?

Are there any huge, heavy stones or obstacles blocking our way? I think of the deep divisions in the USA; the terrorism around the world; the kidnappings; refugees; violence; hunger; disease; illiteracy. Who will roll back these stones for us? What are we being asked to go and tell?

Who are the youth who will be used by God to instruct us? How is the power of the resurrection breaking into your own life as the sun rises on a new day?

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