Go Tell My Brothers!
April 13, 2020 Monday of the Octave of Easter
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this 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. They 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].
Opening Prayer: Lord, help me to turn to you, with my fears and anxieties, to renew my confidence and find my courage in you alone.
1. Greetings!: What was in the hearts of the holy women as they left the tomb overwhelmed with joy, yet fearful of the mystery still unfolding? The women interpreted emptiness positively. Having gone to care for the dead, they came to realize they had a new task: to announce to the living disciples the reality of the Resurrection. Having set aside their preoccupations and sadness, they were able to meet Jesus and receive him. They had made space in their hearts to approach, embrace, and do Jesus homage. Where in our hearts might Jesus be inviting us to lay aside any preconceptions, attachments, or worries, so we can be open to receive him and freely proclaim his good news?
2. “Do Not Be Afraid”: Fear is a powerful emotion that can have a strong effect on our mind and body. We all suffer to some degree from fear. Any number of things can cause us anxiety or stress: the threat of death (either perceived or real), public speaking, being alone, failure, a terrorist attack, or spiders, just to name a few. Fear is a natural and real response that can be challenging to manage. When Jesus came to the women with his overwhelming resurrected presence, their fear disappeared, and joy flooded in. Learning to feel less fearful is to allow Jesus to accompany us and to be present with us. Our circumstances might not change, but our hearts do, knowing on whom we rely on for strength, courage, and guidance. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
3. Go!: Galilee is the place where Jesus both began and ended his ministry. From this remote rural backwaters of Israel, he sent his disciples forth. His invitation came with a promise, “there they will see me.” He likewise sends us to go to ‘Galilee’: the familiar places of our neighborhoods, our families, our parishes, our encounters with the poor and those in need. Wherever we find ourselves, there we will see him. The risen Lord is everywhere we bring his love.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you are the only one to cast out my fears and fill me with confident joy. Only by encountering you do I gain strength and courage to go out into the world, where I find you disguised in my neighbor, the poor, the suffering, and all those in need. Grant me the grace to witness to you as an agent of consolation, hope, and encouragement.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will make a special effort to speak well of others, especially those with whom I disagree.