Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:8-15 – OCTAVE OF EASTER – EASTER MONDAY: 22 April 2019
Although our celebration of Easter probably took place in a packed church, that’s not how it started centuries ago. Everything we commemorated and honored yesterday began with two disciples running from an empty tomb to tell their friends that Jesus had been raised. The angel’s instructions to Mary Magdalene and her companion were so important that Jesus Himself appeared and repeated them: “Go and tell My brothers” (Matthew 28:10).
What if these two women had kept the news to themselves? Think back to your first encounter with Christ. Didn’t another person play some part in introducing you to Him? What if they had said nothing? Pope Paul Vi, in his apostolic exhortation “On Evangelization in the Modern World” (Evangelii Nuntiandi), asked basically the same question: “In the long run, is there any other way of handing on the Gospel than by transmitting to another person one’s personal experience of faith?” (46).
Of course, we need to have that personal experience before we can pass it on. But even if the people around us do see that we are different, they don’t always ask, “Why are you always so peaceful?” As Peter said, we should always be ready to answer such questions (1 Peter 3:15).
Have you encountered the risen Lord? Then “run” just as Mary Magdalene did, to tell the world about Him. The fact that people still deny Jesus’ resurrection, as the chief priests did on Easter morning, shouldn’t scare us. Before Jesus gave His command to Mary Magdalene, He told her, “Do not be afraid”. If we spent time in God’s word and meditate on the astounding significance of the empty tomb, and if experience His love in prayer and the sacraments, then we can go out into the world aflame with His Gospel.
Jakarta, 22 April 2019
A Christian Pilgrim