April 6, 2015
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Creighton University's Deglman Center for Ignation
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 261

Acts 2:14, 22-33
Psalm 16:1-2A, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Matthew 28:8-15

Celebrating Easter

This is the second day for the many newly baptized in the Eucharistic circle also known as the Catholic Church, to celebrate in faith and fact their new identities. Had they actually seen and touched the Risen Jesus? Did they have special mystical experiences which convinced them that Jesus had truly risen? Did they all get the same intellectual insight that made Christianity logical, reasonable and beyond doubt? Well probably not and yet the Church is larger in body and spirit for their following God’s personal graces to them.

We have the saying that “we are as sick as our secrets.” The converse then is true that we are as healthy as our truths.” Not one of us ever has the whole truth of course, but we live healthily according to what we know to be true. Peter, in our First Reading for the liturgy of today, shouts out the truth as he believes. He is speaking to his Jewish companions and some of the leaders who conspired to arrest and crucify the Nazarene. It is important these days to recall that not all the Jews assisted and agreed to the death of Jesus. A rather small, politically motivated, group of elders and leaders put pressure on the Roman leaders to conveniently get Jesus off the Jerusalem stage. Our reading is a short version of a quite extensive presentation. It is not a secret any more and Peter is telling it like he believes. He reminds the men of Israel that they were offered, by signs and miracles the announcement of the physical presence of God made Man. There is a second offering and Peter says that though they killed Jesus, He has risen.

The Gospel is Matthew’s account with a unique twist. Mary Magdalene and a second Mary go to attend the crucified Body of Jesus, but lo and behold an angel is seated on the rock which solidified the tomb. The angel shares a secret with the two early Church-Women. What we hear today is their response. They take off running to tell His brothers, but lo and behold guess what, though they left the tomb running in faith, they get arrested by Jesus Himself. They touch Him and worship Him, but Jesus gives them the mission again to tell the brothers to head back to some place in Galilee. So the secret is becoming more and more public.

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