Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:8-15 – EASTER MONDAY: 2 April 2018
These resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ show that He had a real body. He was not a vision, dream or hallucination. People in those days were familiar with the difference among such phenomena. These appearances emphasize the identity of the earthly Jesus of Nazareth they all knew with the risen and transformed Christ.
Strangely, Jesus seems to break off meetings during these appearances. Their purpose was to strengthen a faith that was already there. They are not meant to stop the clock and encourage disciples to venerate the empty tomb. Rather, these appearances propel them to share their faith experience, to move outward from their small community to others as they spread and preach news of the Kingdom that has been born with Jesus. The disciples would come to have differences among themselves but their common experience of the Risen Lord would give them a framework in which to see their problems. They would come to realize that their difficulties were a reliving of the passion, death and Resurrection of Christ.
Our liturgical experience of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter provide a framework in which to locate all the other events of our life. That experience should also propel us outward to strengthen faith, share faith and begin to establish the Kingdom.
Jakarta, 2 April 2018
A Christian Pilgrim