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Monday in the Octave of Easter, April 1, 2024



Gospel

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,

fearful yet overjoyed,

and ran to announce the news to his disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.

They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.

Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,

and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city

and told the chief priests all that had happened.

The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;

then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

telling them, “You are to say,

‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’

And if this gets to the ears of the governor,

we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.

And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.


Reflection

The reaction of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to the empty tomb captures the very real mix of emotions one might experience when confronted with the unexpected. I couldn’t help but think their initial fear upon finding the tomb empty is entirely understandable, given their expectations of finding Jesus' body there. Yet, as they recall His teachings and realize the implications of the empty tomb, I can only assume that amidst the fear was hope and joy for what this could mean. I think this can serve as a reminder of the power of faith in the face of uncertainty. Furthermore, I can only imagine their shock and elation when they encountered Jesus on their way to inform the disciples of their findings or lack thereof. His immediate response is “Do not be afraid”, a reassurance to them I found to be reminiscent of so many other times something miraculous happens in the Bible.

On the other hand, I think the response of the chief priests and elders is what we would expect but it also highlights the lengths to which some will go to suppress the truth. Their attempt to concoct a false narrative and bribe the guards to keep silent reflects a disturbing pattern of manipulation and deceit. When I think of how it could apply to the world today, it's a stark reminder of the corrupting influence of power and the lengths to which some will go to maintain control.

I think this passage challenges us to reflect on our own responses to the miraculous and our willingness to stand for truth, even in the face of opposition. Ultimately, it invites us to to boldly proclaim the good news, despite the forces that may seek to suppress it.

Alleluia, Alleluia Jesus has risen!

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