Sunday 9 April 2023
Mt 28:1-10

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’”
(Matthew 28:5-10)

With Jesus’ death on the cross, all the miraculous events during His public ministry must have seemed almost like a dream, a distant memory of paradise which the darkness has now silenced. With these feelings, Mary of Magdala goes with the other woman called Mary to visit the tomb of Jesus. But lo and behold there is an earthquake, an Angel of the Lord removes the gravestone and, so frightened, the guards froze.

The resurrection of Jesus is the most shocking event to have happened in history, an event that places the seal of authenticity on everything that has gone on beforehand. If death had had the final word, the life of this man (no matter how good and powerful his miraculous signs had been), would not have been able to direct humanity’s new path in history.

In these few verses, the “command” not to be afraid is repeated twice. It is directed to you (plural), meaning all you that seek Jesus. For whoever seeks Him with a pure heart, He is the source of joy. When greeting the women, Jesus proclaims, Rejoice! Thanks to the resurrection, the Gospel is Good News. Without the resurrection, it would be a fantasy, but full of suffering, with death reigning supreme. The Christian doesn’t follow a doctrine, and much less a culture. They are called to participate in the victory of Christ which, as first fruits, has opened the way to Heaven. We aren’t only called to receive and live this joyful proclamation, but also to share it with others. Just like the women, having been sent by Jesus, become the evangelisers of the apostles!

Fr. Giuseppe