2 Apr – Monday within the Octave of Easter
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.
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.
Do not be afraid
Whenever I encounter new or happy situations, I always have mixed emotions. I am really happy and at the same time have doubts. I often ask myself, “Is this real?” I sometimes think, “This is too good to be true.”
The Gospel reading for today started with women having mixed emotions after hearing that Christ has risen from the dead. They are filled with joy because of the news that Jesus is alive. Though they are very happy, they also have a fear.
In our country, there is this superstitious saying that a person should not be too overly happy because a terrible sadness would come next. But it should not be like that. God fulfils His promise and it is up to us how we accept it. Our faith should not rely on ‘hearsay’ but rather, we should stick to what is right. If we are happy because we have received so many blessings from God, we should be even more happy. This expressive, happy feeling is a way of inviting more graces to come.
But we must always remember that no matter how we want to share our feelings of happiness, there are people who would reject it. The chief priest in today’s Gospel wants to cover up the truth. He rejects the resurrection of Christ. He even bribed the soldiers to say “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” It is the reality even today. There are so many religions and faiths. Some argue who is better than the other. Not only that, there are also religions who give false statements and accusations about other religions. Let this not affect how we live our faith. By continuing to perform simple acts of kindness and generosity, we declare to everyone that our religion is faith with action.
Easter is a very festive celebration. It is the resurrection of Christ. This is the realization that we can overcome our sinfulness through Jesus Christ. God always forgives and always gives us opportunities to follow Christ. We must remember that each day is a blessing from God and each day, we should be a blessing to others.
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are deeply sorry for all the things we have done wrong and for all the good things we have failed to do. Please grant us the grace to live a meaningful life.
Thanksgiving: Father God, thank you very much for continuously giving us another chance to be better.