So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“You can’t handle the truth!” is the line we all know from Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men. Indeed, the same is true for the chief priests and elders over the news of Jesus’ resurrection. They can’t handle word getting out about Jesus’ fulfilment of his prophecy. His divinity was realized. It was indeed Good News.
For those in power, it is much easier to keep their subjects down than to allow injection of hope in their lives. But why? Because hope gives promise. Hope feeds faith. Hope nourishes our lives. Hope empowers us to get us through our darkest days. It is optimism.
In today’s reading, the elders aim to silence the hope that would result from Jesus’ resurrection. They perpetuate lies because they neither want to dismay their governor, nor give hope to those who would most certainly believe in Christ’s resurrection. But these chief priests and their attempt to hide the truth are no match for hope. Their efforts are no match for the Chosen One fulfilling his prophecy.
Perhaps like me, you have used these last few weeks to contemplate your approach to daily life – as well as the long term. In some cases, our faith life may have also shown areas for improvement. Do we have the courage to assess (i.e. Examen) our current approaches to everyday living and our prayer life, and commit to moving forward with great optimism? Perhaps we can be “Easter people,” injecting hope in the lives of those who in recent days and weeks may be justifiably afraid. May we all “go to Galilee” each day in our lives and be Christ to, and for, others. Let us be hope. Let us be Easter people!
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me,
and I will give you rest.
—Refrain of Be Not Afraid, © 1975, Robert J. Dufford, SJ, and New Dawn MusicPlease share the Good Word with your friends!