Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter: Courage and Joy

"Do not be afraid,
for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said...."

So the women hurried away from the tomb,
afraid yet filled with joy,
and ran to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:5-6, 8

"Do not be afraid" were Jesus' first words to them. The message attended his birth, his ministry, his death and Resurrection. And it comes to us today with the same gentle and compelling clarity with which it was offered on that first Easter morning.

There is much around us that is awesome and awful. We know too well the divisions and suffering that plague our world. We have seen that the authorities today use tactics similar to those employed 2,000 years ago, and many people scheme to play to our fear, destroy our hope, and seal off our joy.

But we have the confidence of our faith. We have seen the risen Lord!

Mary and Mary Magdalene loved with such a perfect love that they shed their fear....They were among the first to know the truth that John later put into words: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).

They challenge us to love and believe. To love Jesus with a perfect love and to believe in the power of his Resurrection.... Their testimony stands through the ages. It is a reminder to "rekindle the gift of God that is within you...for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love" (2 Timothy 1:6-7). With courage and joy, let us claim that same spirit that dwelt within our sisters, the first witnesses of the Resurrection.

From Joyce Hollyday, “An Invitation,” Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

Photo: José M. Ruibérriz

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Top notch writing, beautiful.