APRIL 5. MONDAY AFTER EASTER SUNDAY. MT. 28. 8-15
Updated: Aug 29
Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.
And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said. And the women came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’
While they were on their way, some of the guard went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened. These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers with these instructions, ‘This is what you must say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.’ The soldiers took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.
Monday after the resurrection was a day of “awe and great joy” after the sorrow and depression of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, when the enemies of Jesus had appeared to have defeated him, via his crucifixion, death and burial!
But something often overlooked is that this is a wrong view of Christ’s Passion and death; - because he had told his disciples, in advance, that he would have to endure this suffering!
This is very significant in that it demonstrates that at no point were the scribes and Pharisees “the ones in control”; - but rather this role was firmly in the hands of God’s divine Wisdom!
Christ’s suffering and death were required in order to make reparation for our sins, and the sins of the world; - so the apparent “tragedy” of recent days; - rather than a tragedy, was actually a sign of God’s wisdom, power, and love!
Due to man’s actions and sin, suffering and sacrifice had become necessary; - as reparation had now become necessary; - and we need to appreciate this truth because, as Christians, we are called to embrace suffering and self-denial; - in imitation of Christ’s sacrifice!
It is very easy, and a common mistake, to view Christ’s Passion and Death as a disaster; - just as it is to view our own sufferings and trials in the same way; - but this is a serious error for Christians; - as Christ did not see his Passion and Death as a disaster; - quite the opposite!
Christ saw his Passion and Death as a sign of his Love for his Father, and for his people, and we need to ponder this truth; - as what it means is our sufferings and trials are able to be seen in the same light; - if embraced with a generous and loving heart; - as they then become signs of our love of God and his Church!
And this is what Christ’s Resurrection bears witness to; - suffering and self-denial; - accepted and embraced in the right spirit; - of reparation; - rather than being a “disaster”; - becomes something of great value; - that can be offered to God as a sign of our grateful love!
This is what makes the Resurrection such a joyful event; - it shows God defeated his enemies via humility, obedience and self-sacrifice; - virtues we are called on to imitate and offer in union with Christ’s sacrifice; - as Acts of Love and Reparation! It also bears witness to the truth sin and evil were defeated by Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection!
Gospel Acclamation Ps117:24
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad.
First reading Acts 2:14,22-33
God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to this
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:
I saw the Lord before me always,
for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.
So my heart was glad
and my tongue cried out with joy;
my body, too, will rest in the hope
that you will not abandon my soul to Hades
nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.
You have made known the way of life to me,
you will fill me with gladness through your presence.
‘Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’