Reflection: Monday, Octave of Easter

Mass: Monday, April 5, 2010
First Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Responsorial: Ps 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Gospel: Mt 28:8-15

We continue our week-long celebration of Easter Sunday, a time when we are filled with unbounded joy — let the Church say, “Amen!” Jesus is risen from the tomb—let the Church say, “Amen!” Christ has conquered death with resurrection to new life—let the Church say, “Amen!” Now that was one way to get our worship community to show that this morning is no longer Lent!

So, just to recap the events of the past few days, while we were celebrating Easter, the following events happened, as taken from recent news headlines: Bombs set off in Pakistan and Russia. Church abuse scandal in Europe. 17-year old shot in chest Easter Sunday. Woman killed in hit-and-run on I-35 in San Antonio. And, of course, Lakers lose by 19 to Spurs.

Okay, except for the last one, all of those headlines include stories of death, pain, suffering, violence and anger. And while we celebrated appropriately with joyful singing, feasting and cracking cascarones over our heads, the world continues to cry out for the Good News of the Gospel message.

So what can we do about it? Today’s Gospel gives us a clear message from the Risen Jesus’ own words, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers…” This means Jesus sends us forth as witnesses of this great news to share with others: that sin, death and the cross do not have the final word, but that the resurrection follows. That’s what we do with Easter joy: share with others.

The first reading also reflects this sentiment through the example of Peter. Yes, this is the same Peter who didn’t have enough faith to trust he could walk on water, who was told by Jesus to “get behind me, Satan,” and denied that he even knew Jesus three times.

But, something clicked; the resurrection changed his life. He realized that, despite his humanity, sins and weaknesses, he was forgiven! And now, what to we see him doing in the first reading: sharing this with others.

The refrain from today’s psalm, “Keep me safe, O Lord,” reminds us that God always is present in our lives. This is important to remember that the following of Christ means we also carry the cross—the challenges of life that come to us in many forms. Despite these “crosses,” we are reminded that resurrection, light and joy always awaits.

To be a disciple means to share with one another the good news of God’s love for us. That may come in the form of an insight gained in prayer, a talent that is meant to be shared, an opinion or a fraternal correction that is needed for our personal growth in community—which is a big aspect of our Marianist vocation.

One way we can do that is through committing ourselves daily to the vision of our founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, in support of Mary’s mission. Let us to do this by reciting our prayer of dedication.

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