Homily for Monday within the Octave of Easter Year A
Theme: Do not be Afraid; Say the Truth; Jesus is Alive
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Monday April 13 2020
Read Acts 2:14-33, Psalm 16 and Matthew 28:8-15.
“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.’” (Matthew 28:9-10)
For us Catholics, Easter is not a single day’s celebration, rather it is an eight-day Feast. We call it the Octave of Easter. Today is the Second of these Eight Days and as you would see, our readings this week will centre on the immediate events of Christ’s resurrection.
Upon rising from the dead, the first thing Jesus said to the women he appeared to was: “Do not be afraid…” This is also the message for us today. In the wake of COVID-19, our hearts are full of fear, fear that this lockdown may extend beyond what we can handle, fear that our economy may not recover, fear that we would make so much loss or that business would never be the same again, fear that our civil leaders would not care for our needs but would steal the money meant to alleviate our plights; the list is endless. Try to listen to Jesus today my brother, my sister: “Do not be Afraid.”
Do not be afraid because Jesus is alive. Do not be afraid because our prayers are not in vain. Do not be afraid because Jesus can and would make a way where there seems to be no way. If death could not stop Jesus two thousand years ago, if the strong might of military men (the soldiers/guards) was not enough to prevent Jesus from stepping out of the grave, nothing, not even the corona pandemic can stop Jesus from carrying out His good will and plan for us His children.
Do not let Fear make you close your lips from speaking the truth. The guards went into the city to report the incidence to the chief priests. For the first time, it dawned on them that Jesus was truly God as He said, that they had just killed an innocent man fulfilling everything contained in the scriptures about the Messiah. Still, they couldn’t accept this truth, they sought to bury it because they were afraid of losing face with the people.
The chief priests bribed the guards with money and ordered them to lie a very shameful unbelievable lie; that the disciples of Jesus who were unarmed could overpower the armed guards and steal the body of Jesus. Why did these guards agree to do this? They too were afraid of the chief priests, afraid that if they refused the money, they would not have money to feed their families.
You see? Fear paralyses us. We are easily controlled when we are afraid, all we see are negative outcomes. Ask yourself, “what is it that I am so afraid of that is preventing me from living as a child of light, preventing me from saying the truth or preventing me from shamelessly proclaiming Christ?” Peter was so afraid of beating that he denied ever knowing Christ, three times. That same Peter is the person we see in today’s first reading proclaiming the message of Christ boldly in a sermon that converted three thousand souls at once to the Christian Faith.
What am I so afraid of? Why don’t I just let my light shine? Am I afraid that people will kill me for being good? That people hate me for speaking the truth? We have no reason to fear because Jesus is here. He sees, He knows and He is more than able to defend us. Jesus can provide us with money and food with the twinkle of an eye, we don’t have to condescend to evil or compromise our Christian values because of our quest for the things of this world. Trust Jesus.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the courage to face my fears especially those preventing me from proclaiming the Good News. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of Easter Octave. Bible Study: Acts 2:14-33, Psalm 16 and Matthew 28:8-15).