22 April 2019
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.
They will see me there
It is interesting how people can interpret the same event very differently.
In today’s Gospel, we see the women running to tell the disciples, joyfully, of how they have seen our Lord, and His instructions to go to Galilee to meet with Him. On the other hand, we also see the guards, who, on witnessing the same, not only did not experience conversion, but also allowed themselves to be bribed by the high priests into lying about the happenings.
The Israelites, as the chosen people, have been on the receiving end of God’s graces. I am struck by how, despite being led by Moses out of Egypt, or seeing the parting of the Red Sea, or even by being protected by God from the various plagues (including the killing of the firstborn), were so quick to begin grumbling about God. What was worse was their brazen disregard for our God, choosing to instead casting and worshipping the graven image of Ba’al once Moses stepped away to Mount Sinai.
This only tells me the importance of developing our personal relationship with our God, and of spending time with Him. Without this relationship, I am convinced that no amount of miracles we witness will bring us closer to God.
In this period of Easter, we see how God has sent His only Son to suffer and to die for us. What bigger act of love is there that God can show us? Let us take this time to reflect and continue to develop our relationship with, and to grow closer to our God.
Have a blessed Easter season my bothers and sisters!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father, we pray that we will be blessed with a closer walk with You always. That we may continue to see Your hand in all that we see and experience.
Thanksgiving: We are grateful to You, oh Father, for our eternal love for us. Thank You for always being there for us.