Full House – Good News for April 5

5 04 2010

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.

The Daily Path: Two things leap off the virtual page for me today…

First, we find Mary and Mary hurrying back to town with the good news. They are both excited and afraid. But who meets them along the way? Jesus.

AND, once again, Jesus shares one of His key messages: “Do not be afraid.”

This has been my experience, too. So often Jesus meets me as I scurry about on this road called living. Sometimes it’s when I’m excited and feeling joyful. Other times He finds me when I’m feeling low and fearful. And in both circumstances He offers the same words. “Do not be afraid.”

In Joyful moments it’s: Don’t be afraid to proclaim Me.

In Fearful times it’s: Don’t be afraid, you’ll get through this because I’m at your side.

Yesterday, I was stunned at how many people were in attendance at the 9:00 am Easter Sunday Mass here in my parish. I’m well aware that many Christians only go to church on Christmas and Easter. Even with that understanding, I was stunned to find EVERY nook and cranny filled with people. It was standing room only. Even the infant room was jammed full.

Not only was St. Monica’s packed, there was a noticeable sense of joy in the air. Smiles were on the faces of strangers and friends alike. Even some people who are ordinarily a little rigid had a warm glow about them. As I took this phenomenon in, I couldn’t help but think of what it would be like if our faith community came together in these numbers more often, perhaps even most Sundays.

Why are so many still afraid to open their minds and hearts?

I know Jesus met many along the road yesterday. For some it was the first time. I hope the spark of excitement they experienced will remain with them today. I’m also hopeful that their fears will be overcome by God’s love so they can take up with us on the journey home.

“Do not be afraid.”