Happy Easter! I know, I know…Easter was yesterday. That is so old news. But it isn’t! The Church celebrates Easter for fifty days! Wish someone a Happy Easter today. See what kind of look you get, then explain to them that the celebration didn’t end yesterday.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 28, we read about the first post-Resurrection sighting of Jesus. As Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (not the mother of Jesus) were running to tell the disciples what they had been told by an angel, Jesus appeared to them. “They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.” And then the risen Jesus spoke to them. Do you know what the first words of the risen Jesus were? “Do not be afraid.”
That admonition (or one similar to it) is the most common in all of Scripture. Do not be afraid. Have no fear. Too often, we so easily give in to our fears. We’re afraid of being judged, of looking or feeling stupid, of people thinking we’re odd or stupid because of our religious convictions. Our biggest fear is usually what other people will think of us. Can you imagine what the world would be like if Jesus or the Apostles gave in to that fear? They didn’t. They didn’t have time to care what other people thought about them. They were all focused on the mission that God had given them. Let’s take their example today and every day. Make a vow to put your fears aside today!
Father, help us to conquer our fears today through your love and your grace. May we boldly proclaim Jesus wherever we go. Amen.