April 13, 2020 – Monday within the Octave of Easter
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041320.cfm)
The Gospel story from Matthew presents to us how truth can be manipulated by people who desired to advance their personal agenda. The soldiers who were witnesses of the Resurrection were paid not to tell what really happened but to create another story. These soldiers must have been filled with awe and wonder in the event of the resurrection. Light must have pierced into their unbelieving hearts. However, what was sad in their story was when they were presented with the immediate comfort of money.
They were willing to cover the truth of resurrection and create fake news for the sake of money. They accepted a corrupt offer to spill the untruth to people rather than to tell others of God’s power and mercy.
Why was that? Is money more powerful than God? Certainly not. It is just deceiving.
Nevertheless, apart from this sad story, we still have the women who showed to us how the resurrection of Jesus changed their life. The Gospel tells us that they were still fearful yet “overjoyed.” This means that despite the seeming darkness they have experienced in the past days and the fear that enveloped them, the presence of Jesus filled them with so much joy.
The women did not succum to despair and fear unlike the soldier who succumbed to money and corruption. The women continued to believe in Jesus in spite of the confusions and even pain and suffering that they witnessed. They never lost their hope in Jesus.
This kind of attitude in them was showed in their action as they went to the tomb early in the morning. The tomb surely would remind them of the death of Jesus, meaning, of sadness and failure, of pain and disappointment. However, even in the midst of all of these, they found a reason to find light in the midst of darkness, to find hope in the midst of hopelessness and to find life in the midst of death.
And true enough, as they desired to see Jesus, they indeed saw and witnessed the glory of resurrection. This was how they also found their mission, and that was to be Jesus’ witnesses to others.
Now, as Jesus called them to tell other disciples about him, each of us now too is called to tell others of Jesus’ presence in our very life. Galilee, then, is very important here. Galilee, indeed, was a very symbolic place.
The people in Galilee were the excluded, the poor, and the marginalized where only bad news were heard and imposed. And Jesus grew up in this environment. He indeed belonged to this marginalized-second-class people who were systematically oppressed by oppressive powers. And Jesus identifies himself with them. With them Jesus shared food, drinks and stories. Moreover, Jesus called his disciples who were mostly Galileans, in the poor and marginalized people.
Galilee now represented the world where people continued to suffer, to be marginalized and oppressed. It is in this place where Jesus will be found by the disciples and where the good news of the resurrection will also be preached.
As disciples and modern day apostles of Jesus, we are to seek also the marginalized and the oppressed in our society. We are to bring hope and good news to those who are troubled and in despair. It is to be faithful to the mission of Jesus entrusted to us his believers that we shall also meet the risen Christ. This mission is surely radical and demanding, thus, it must always be motivated through the person of Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, only through the person of Jesus and not in money, in benefits or comforts for ourselves.
As we respond to the call of the Risen Lord, may we find him more in our efforts in making difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters especially in this difficult times brought by the pandemic Covid-19. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR