EASTER OCTAVE, MONDAY
Reading 1: Acts 2:14,22-32 After receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Peter reviews the life of Jesus for his hearers, including the prophecies of his coming, his life, work, death, and his resurrection.
Gospel: Mt 28:8-15 Matthew tells how Jesus appears to the women who had come to the tomb, tells them not to be afraid but to carry the good news to the apostles.
WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE TO THE RESURRECTION?
The Gospel reading of today presents before us two responses to the reality of the empty tomb. First, we have the women, who go to the tomb out of love and reverence for Jesus and are given the good news! They are told by the angels that Jesus has risen, and though they had not yet encountered the Risen Christ, they believed. This belief evoked an intense joy within them, together with being awed at what they heard. They are then sent out on a mission which they immediately embark upon. The final outcome of this is that they see the risen Jesus!
On the other hand, we have the response of the religious leaders contrasting that of the pious women. They too receive the report of the empty tomb. Even if they did not believe, a more reasonable approach would have been to investigate the matter and find out what had really happened. Instead, in their stubbornness and rebellion against Jesus, they conspire together and fabricate their own version of the truth. Furthermore, they bribe the guards in order to spread the blatant lie that Jesus’ disciples had stolen his body. In so doing, they not only propagate a lie but also slander the good name of the disciples.
In all of us, the responses of both, the women and the religious leaders, are present. We believe in Jesus’ resurrection, and do share in the awe, joy, openness, freedom and mission of the women. Yet, there is also some part of our life which we stubbornly guard and keep secret, a place where we prefer that Jesus never interfere with, that he remain dead to. We deprive our own selves of the power of the resurrection. The yearly celebration of Lent and Easter is an opportunity to introspect and identify these areas, and allow the light of Jesus’ Resurrection to dispel the darkness from them. All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed! “Lord, we believe; help our unbelief!”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 16:1-2,5, 7-11 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
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