Acts 2:14, 22-33
On this Monday of Easter Week the church calls upon us to continue to praise and thank our God, to rejoice and shout our alleluias from the housetops, from the streets, through the fields and from the hills and mountains. We continue our joy, our hope and our love born in us yesterday, when God raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the tomb. Let us rejoice, for he who was dead is now alive, resurrected, and living among us and within us. Alleluia!
Our readings begin actually with Pentecost Day, from the Acts of the Apostles. Peter, now filled with the Holy Spirit, stands up with the other Apostles and declares to all the men of Jerusalem that this man Jesus, who had lived among them doing nothing but good works, miracles and signs of healing, even raising the dead; who had come to them preaching the word of God and the coming of the kingdom of heaven; and whom they in turn had cruelly killed – that this man, Jesus the Nazorean, God had actually raised up from the dead. He had brought him in the flesh to sit at His right hand in heavenly glory. Peter declares to all, "God raised this Jesus: of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear."
Matthew in the gospel returns us to Easter Day. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph had been to the tomb in the early morning only to find it empty. There they had learned from the angel that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead and that they were to go and tell the disciples. Along their way Jesus suddenly met them – the risen Jesus in the flesh – and they embraced his feet. Jesus repeats the message of the angel – "Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me."
We end with the example of the women – overjoyed, let us with them go and announce the good news. God so loved us that He sent his only son, and that son’s very human death in complete abandonment to His Father has saved him and us – made us all children of God, sisters and brothers to Jesus Christ – and he now lives within us through his Spirit.
"Breathe on us, O Breath of God,
Fill us with life anew,
That we may love what you do love,
And do what you would do."
Br. Peter A. Fitzpatrick, CFX, a Xaverian Brother, is a Passionist Associate at Ryken House, across the creek from the Passionist Monastery, in Louisville, Kentucky.