Posted by: frburke23 | April 20, 2014

Thought for Monday of Easter Week

Matthew 28:8-15 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

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There were and are many people who try to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead.  If they can prove that, then the Christian faith would have no substance.  The chief priests and elders gathered together to concoct a story about Jesus’ body being stolen by the disciples.  They paid the soldiers to tell this story.  However, we know that their story was not believed by many.

Those who witnessed Jesus in person after the resurrection were changed forever.  The disciples were gathered in the upper room after the crucifixion, saddened that their Master had died.  They were frightened and didn’t know what to do.

But Jesus appeared to them and told Thomas, “Come and touch my wounds.”  Thomas responds by saying, “My Lord and my God!”

Do we believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead?  Have we experienced His risen presence among us?  If so, how does this change our lives?  If there were no resurrection from the dead, we would be living completely different lives. 

However, since we believe in life after this life, we should be spending our time focusing on the things of heaven.  Obviously we have to live in this world, but we don’t have to be OF this world.

One way that we can test ourselves to see if we truly believe in the resurrection is to see where our treasure is. If I’m afraid of death or worry about whether or not there is eternal life, I may try to get everything I can out of this life and this world. Am I preoccupied with material things?  Do I work 80 hour weeks in order to have the latest gadgets and to pay that immense mortgage? 

Or am I investing in my relationships that are so important?  Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God and love our neighbor – it is all about relationships.  Do I invest time in prayer each day to grow in my relationship with Christ?  Do I spend time with my children (who spell “love” “t-i-m-e”)?  Do I take time with my family and friends instead of working too many hours? Am I building up treasure in heaven?

How does the resurrection of Jesus Christ change the way I live? Jesus tells us, “Do not be afraid. He who believes in me, even though he die, will live forever.” That is our hope. Jesus Christ is our hope!

Let us focus on Christ, especially during this Easter week.  If you have a chance, go to Church this week to hear the wonderful Easter stories of Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection!

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke


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