The 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: In today’s Gospel reading, Mary Magdalene and Mary ran ‘with fear and great joy’. Mary was the first to witness the Resurrection of Christ. She was there at the tomb risking her life and following tradition by going to anoint the corpse. They had just seen an angel who told them that Jesus was alive. What a mixture of emotions that has filled them – fear at being deceived and joy in belief. Have you ever felt like that? Think about this; Mary Magdalene was the church from Jesus’ gravesite to the place where the Apostles were at. She was the ONLY one who knew the state of Jesus. Therefore, she was the church. Because during that time between the two places – she was the only one who knew about the Paschal Mystery of our church.
There are many examples of Joys in our life, and we probably encounter some that we missed because we were too busy or otherwise. The simple truth is there a whole-lot-of Joys in our life. The problem with JOY is that it’s hard to maintain them. It’s hard to be joyful 24/7. But isn’t smiling, or reading a good book, or having a good night’s sleep, or being with someone you love Joy too?
My Sisters and Brothers, Joy is the best response to Easter. Who could have ever imagined that death could be conquered with Joy? That’s exactly what Easter means. Your death and my death are not the end. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Just as Jesus rose from the dead we will rise from the dead; therefore, we will live forever.
Therefore, suffering does not have the last word. Death does not have the last word. Only the love of Jesus Christ is the last word.
I challenge you all to Choose Joy. I challenge you to be grateful for what you have and not for what you think you need. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and therefore, the fruit of our lives. Here are 3 suggestions to help us do that. Let’s call it “G.P.S.”:
- G – Gratitude: If we’re always griping, judging, or miserable then how will the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with joy? So, if we want more joy in our lives, start by being grateful for the things we have.
- P – Prayer: Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of joy. Joy is the result of our relationship with Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the one who makes Christ present to us.
- S – Sharing: Bring joy into someone else’s life and you’ll be astounded at what happens in your own heart. Call someone, smile at someone, do something kind. And joy flows from that.
It is said that “A grateful heart silences a complaining tongue”.
Action of the Day: Take some time and identify the little things that make you feel good, that make you happy and joyful. The big things are obvious.