April 21, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Monday in the Octave of Easter 

Matthew 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 (Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):

     Are you prepared to meet the Risen Lord? This is the question that today’s Gospel might be asking us.  The disciples of Jesus were not prepared for his resurrection as they were for his death. The empty tomb made them fearful and joyful at the same time. “Where did they put the body or did he really rise just as he predicted?”  Even though Jesus had spoken to them before of his death and rising, they could not believe until they saw the empty tomb and met the risen Lord. Aren’t we the same? We want to see with our own eyes before we believe! Thus, the famous line “to see is to believe.” The guards brought their testimony to the chief priests and elders who met the news with denial. They were determined to not believe that Jesus had risen and they bribed the guards in the hope of keeping others from believing.

      What is the basis of our faith in the resurrection? The scriptures tell us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. Our faith is a free assent to the whole truth, which God reveals to us through his word. Faith is certain because it is based on the very word of God who cannot lie. Faith also seeks understanding. That is why God enlightens us that we may know the hope to which he has called us. We have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Through the gift of faith, the Lord reveals himself to those who believe in his word and he fills them with “new life in his Holy Spirit”.

     Do you live in the joy and hope of the resurrection? And do you recognize the presence of the Risen Lord in his word, in the “breaking of the bread”, and in his Church, the body of Christ?

     Lord Jesus, may we always live in the joy and hope of the resurrection and never lose sight of its truth in our lives.

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