Monday within the Octave of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22-33, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11, & Matthew 28:8-15
"The Holy Women at the Sepulchre" by Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1611-14.
Yesterday was the glorious feast of Easter joy. Today the churches are quieter as we begin to return to everyday 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 recent days. In a loud, clear voice, he stands in the middle 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.
Have we, too, 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.
Jesus gives us the answer as He meets the women rushing from the tomb. His first words to them, and us, are “Peace,” followed by, “Do not be afraid.” Our Lord wants us to be at peace, to feel the love and redemption He offers us.
Friends, 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 our hearts and minds. But can this last? We remember Peter’s fear and recognize our own. We will, at times, forget, fall asleep, deny Jesus and run away in fear, forgetting the joy. Thankfully, Jesus will be there to meet us with His arms gently open and His eyes filled with love. He greets us with the word “Peace” and as someone who knows our faults and loves us anyway. He tells us, “Don’t be afraid!”
Question of the Day: How will you maintain the joy of Jesus’ resurrection throughout the year?
Prayer: “Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.”