Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 28:8-15

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Monday within the Octave of Easter

Go tell my brothers. (Matthew 28:10)

Even though your celebration of Easter probably took place in a packed church, that’s not how it all started two thousand years ago. It began when two women ran from an empty tomb to tell their friends that Jesus had been raised from the dead. It began with the announcement of the good news—first to Mary Magdalene and her companion, and then to the eleven apostles. In fact, the angel’s instructions to share the good news were so important that Jesus himself appeared and gave the same command: “Go tell my brothers” (Matthew 28:10).

What if the women had kept the news to themselves? What if fear of the authorities had trumped their excitement? Your life would be quite different today, wouldn’t it?

Think back to your first encounter with Jesus. Didn’t another person play some part in introducing you to him? That person was following the angel’s words! In his apostolic exhortation On Evangelization in the Modern World, Pope Paul VI made the same point: “In the long run, is there any other way of handing on the gospel than by transmitting to another person one’s personal experience of faith?” (46). Everything depends on evangelization!

Of course, we need to have that personal experience before we can pass it on. We need to be able to demonstrate a life filled with the hope and joy of the resurrection. We need to be just different enough to prompt people to ask us, “Why are you so peaceful? What’s your secret?” Then, as St. Peter said, we can “be ready” to answer these questions with humility and enthusiasm

(1 Peter 3:15).

Have you encountered the risen Lord? Then “run,” just as Mary Magdalene did, to tell people about him. The fact that people still deny Jesus’ resurrection, as the chief priests did, shouldn’t scare you. Before he gave his command to Mary Magdalene, Jesus told her, “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). Let the good news of the empty tomb empower you. Let your own experience of his love give you confidence. You have the light of the gospel within you. Now, go!

“Lord, I praise you for sharing with me the greatest good news there is: the message of new life now and eternal life with you forever. Give me the courage and zeal to share that message with everyone I meet.”

Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11

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