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Monday in the Octave of Easter Acts 5: 12-16
Acts 2:14, 22-33
Matthew 28:8-15
In the first reading Peter proclaims on Pentecost a brief sum-
mary of Jesus’ recent life. He reminded his audience of Jesus’
mighty deeds, his crucifixion, and how David foretold of his
resurrection and that they were all witnesses to all of these
events. In Matthew’s Gospel we are told of the events fol-
lowing Mary Magdalene and the other Mary’s finding the
empty tomb. We see the contrast in how Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary responded versus how the chief priests
responded to the news of the empty tomb.
The women of today’s gospel, Matthew tells us were “fearful yet overjoyed” upon find-
ing Christ’s empty tomb. However their fear did not cripple them as they quickly left to
announce the news to his disciples. Upon encountering the risen Christ, Mary Magda-
lene and the other Mary, they embraced him and did him homage. In other Gospel
passages we are told how those in the risen Lord’s presence did not recognize him,
however this is never mentioned in today’s gospel. Obviously these two remarkable
women had such love for Jesus that despite their fears, they did not prevent them from
going forward and they also had no problems recognizing Jesus.
This year we will celebrate our 20
anniversary and at times we can complete each
other’s sentences or know what the other is thinking without them saying a word. This
can be both a blessing and a challenge. It is a blessing knowing that your spouse
knows you so well and a challenge to not fall-into predictable and passive patterns
where no growth can occur. There is no passivity in Mary and Mary Magdalene’s love
for Jesus as they actively embrace his feet.
In our married life our love grows when we let Jesus be our teacher rather than our
own small agendas or plans. When we are faced with fears do we fall back on Christ’s
strength or in our blindness do we struggle like a ship without a rudder? Today’s Gos-
pel also relates how the chief priests responded to the news of Jesus’s empty tomb.
They along with their counsel concoct a plan to lie and pay off the soldiers to assist in
this lie saying that Jesus’ disciples came in the night and stole the body while they were
asleep. Here was the perfect opportunity for the chief priests to see the error in their
ways and become transformed themselves. This obviously was too much to ask of
those who had helped put Jesus to death. In our own lives how do our past decisions,
even when they were wrong, guide us into making additional new bad decisions? At