April 22, 2019

Gospel MT 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
Reflection:
“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.”
Although we yearn to have a relationship with God, we are also fearful.
The words “Do not be afraid,” and “Fear not,” appear in the gospels over 300 times.
It calms my spirit when I remember that essentially we mortals are “not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” (Stephen Covey)
There is no need to be afraid, The great joy of life is that we came from God, and this life is but a journey which will lead us back to God.
“Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”
The Apostles were hiding in Jerusalem, fearful that they too would be crucified by the religious authorities. The first instructions Jesus gave to the two Marys were to “Go tell,” to share the Good News of His resurrection.
“While they were going, some of the guards went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.”
It was “fear” the people would believe Jesus’ message of God’s unconditional love that led the chief priests and elders to plot Jesus’ death.
If the people believed that God’s love was freely given to everyone, the religious leaders would have lost their power over the people.
It was “fear” of being punished that led the soldiers to accept a bribe to lie about Jesus’ body being stolen.
Fear holds a person captive, But, the antidote to fear is faith.
It is our faith in Jesus’ resurrection and His message of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness that gives us the courage to overcome our fears and put our trust in Jesus Christ.
“Alleluia, Alleluia, He is Risen! This truth has set us free.”