Monday within the Octave of Easter
(Acts 2:14.22-33; Matthew 28:8-15)
In late December a young female factory worker in Mexico was abducted. She had been organizing for the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras. Her mother and father then began looking for her until they too were taken away. In February the bodies of the couple were dumped outside the city where their daughter worked. This terrible saga gives some perspective on why the women after seeing Jesus’ empty tomb of Jesus go away frightened.
Jesus is said to be raised. Perhaps the women try to comprehend what these words mean as they leave the tomb. They may be thinking that the message is a ruse such that those who contrived to have Jesus crucified will now follow them to get to Jesus’ disciples. The gospel tells us that the Jewish leaders pay off the guard so that they do not mention Jesus’ missing body. Are they now going to kill his disciples? Then Jesus intervenes telling the women not to fear and to relate the message to the eleven.
Just as for the women of today’s gospel, living the faith of the resurrection is often challenging. It means overcoming the fear that our sacrifices on behalf of Christ may be in vain. It means stating in face of the circumstantial evidence of decaying bodies that death is not the last of us but that our bodies will be reclaimed by the risen Christ to live with him in glory.