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Monday, 05 April 2021 07:00

Resurrection Reads #1 - Responding to the Resurrection

 2021.21.Resurection Reads 1 FB

Happy Easter – He is Risen – Alleluia.

I love the Easter Octave. Everyday this week we are celebrating Easter Sunday. It is a clear message to us that this is monumental – that Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead really is at the centre of our faith, at the centre of our lives.

Celebrating Easter Sunday every day this week is much more than an excuse to continue eating copious amounts of chocolate, it is a key time for us to really consider and ask ourselves questions like, what does the resurrection of Jesus really mean for me in a personal way, what is my response to the gift of risen life?

Each day this week, we will reflect together on the Gospel of the day – you guessed it – a resurrection story. Today we turn our attention to Matthew 28:8-15.

So they (the women) 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 worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

 

This resurrection account gives us, I think, a very clear challenge, and that is what is my response to the                                                        resurrection of Jesus. Firstly, we see the women –2021.21.Resurrection Reads 1 Empty Tomb we are told they leave the tomb with great joy and that their immediate step is to go and share the news with the disciples. On their way, they encounter Jesus himself and have what I imagine must have been a profound encounter of worship. This is in stark contrast to the priests and elders who devise a plan to keep it all silent, even going to the extreme of paying the soldiers to tell a different version of events, wanting them to say that the disciples came and stole his body.

We are also faced with a choice in how we respond to the resurrection, and are called to ask ourselves whether the story of Jesus and our own testimony is something we willingly share, or something we would rather hide. It is true that we can share our testimony and the truth of who Jesus is through our actions, but as many of our popes have made clear in various writings, this needs to be accompanied by explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord.

Today, let’s ask Jesus to help us to be bold, and to give us opportunities to share who he is for us with others – whoever that may be.

Mel Edwards