Living The Most Precious Gift
Daily Reflection- 4/22/19
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this 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 guards went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They 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.( Matthew 28:8-15)
Yesterday was the glorious feast of Easter joy. Today the churches are quieter as we begin to return to “normal” life. But what can be “normal” after Easter? Can we be the same people we were before the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus?
In today’s first reading, we see Peter as anything but the fearful disciple we have seen in the past. In a loud, clear voice he stands in the midst of a crowd and proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah. This “new” Peter speaks in a different and more confident voice than the one who had huddled in terror in the locked upper room after the crucifixion. Now he says he can “speak confidently” and, quoting David, says his heart is glad and his tongue has rejoiced. He has been changed.
Have we been moved that dramatically by the events of the past week? Are we as courageous as Peter? Perhaps we are more like the women hurrying away from the tomb, half-overjoyed and half-fearful. Yes, there is good news, wonderful news … but can we allow ourselves to believe it? Can it really be true?
Jesus gives us the answer as he meets the women rushing from the tomb. His first words to them – and us – are “Peace!” and then “Do not be afraid!” Jesus wants us first to be at peace, to feel the love and redemption he offers us. Yes, it is true and now, as believers, witnesses to this miracle of love, we are asked by Jesus to “go and carry the news…”
Today we are still carried along on the joy of Holy Week and Easter Sunday liturgies. We may feel the call of Jesus in our lives asking us to spread the good news to our brothers and sisters. Today we have the courage, the energy and the joy inside. But can this last? We remember Peter’s fear and know of our own, so deeply entrenched. It doesn’t matter. We will, at times, forget, fall asleep, deny Jesus and run away fearfully, forgetting the joy. But always, always he will be there to meet us with his arms gently open, his eyes filled with love.
“Peace!” he says, greeting us with the understanding of someone who truly knows us and our faults – and loves us anyway. “Don’t be afraid.”
Each of us is called to live and to treasure the peace. But we are also called to live out our faith – not just in the way we conduct ourselves each day but to witness to the living Christ – to encourage others to discover that Peace and that Light? Is that something you do ? It should be because that is the most precious gift of the resurrection.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, may we always live in the joy and hope of the resurrection and never lose sight of its truth for our lives.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism unto death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).
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