A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 28:8-15
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: " ran to announce the news to his disciples."
Christos Anesti (Christ is risen)
A runner in early times was a military courier, messenger or military foot soldier responsible for carrying messages during war. They were needed because communication was not there yet. Possible the most famous foot soldier would be The Marathon Man, Pheidippides, who ran from the battlefield of Marathon in 490 BC to Athens to announce Greek victory over the Persians. He ran 26 miles to the Acropolis, burst into the chambers and gallantly hailed his countrymen with “Nike! Nike! Nenikekiam” (“Victory! Victory! Rejoice, we conquer!”). And then he promptly collapsed from exhaustion and died. Most runners covered incredible distances on foot, over rocky and mountainous terrain, forgoing sleep if need be in carrying out their duties as messengers. In a nod to Greek history, therefore, the origin of the marathon.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary found the empty tomb and ran to the tell the disciples the good news. I am sure they did not stop for rest nor did they mind the rocks, stones, mud, missteps or grass that got in their sandals. They did not fear the Romans. They were on a mission and that was to spread the good news that Jesus was alive. A few verses later in Matthew 28:18, 20 in our PAPA handbook our mission is stated: "Go and make disciples of all nations; behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age". We believe that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and is living in the Church and with us.
Easter has made us brave messengers with the joyous good news of the Resurrection and we cannot stand idle nor not allow our hearts from shouting out that Our Lord is alive. And Jesus rewards the two Marys, as He does to us, by telling them to not be afraid. They were to be His foot soldiers in telling all about what had just happened. And what honor, to embrace His feet and worship.
Without fear of the Lord, but fear that we might lose Him, our mission is to proclaim the Lord all over the world, even though we might die as Pheidippides in doing, so that all will be joined with Christ on this journey of life. Please join in praying the PAPA Prayer for Priests: for our priests who are the foot soldiers of the Lord.
God Bless You
Alithos Anesti (Truly Christ is Risen)