Grace to you and Happy Easter!
Welcome to the Day 2 of a fifty-day celebration of the joy and exultation of the Resurrection. Did you know that Saint Athanasius called the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday “Great Sunday?” Meaning that every day of the fifty days is to be celebrated like one great Sunday of joy, happiness and exultation in the Risen Lord.
On this day-2 of our “Great Sunday,” may we reflect on the first greeting of the Resurrection – “Do not be afraid.”
In February 2016, there was a terrible earthquake that shook virtually every house in the Kern County of California. I was in my living room studying, when it seemed the whole house was about to collapse. I became afraid, for a moment, but remembered God’s word, “Do not be afraid.” The word had a renewed meaning for me amidst the immediate danger of the possibility of the earthquake causing the house to crumble. The power of God’s Word means much to a terrified person.
Are you sometimes worried that something bad may happen to you or your loved ones? Is your deteriorating health a source of concern; you fear it could be a symptom of a terminal health condition, such as cancer? Do you fear your life savings would vanish if the market crashes or that you may lose something precious to you? How about the fear of the unknown, the monstrous feeling which keeps many from a joyful life?
Fear of a spiritual kind is the worst of all. It could be called the fear of fear itself. Many are tormented by what they can’t put their hands around. They may not be aware the object of their fear is fear itself.
Fear of all kinds is swallowed up in the victory of the Resurrection.
The first witnesses of the resurrection (according to Matthew 28), namely Mary the Mother of Cleopas and the other Mary, were afraid when they came to the tomb of Jesus. But the angels they saw said to them: “Do not be afraid.” Similarly, later that same day, Jesus spoke to them and the disciples, reassuring them, “Do not be afraid.”
In the Resurrected Lord, Our Savior Jesus Christ, our fears are swallowed up in victory. The worst of our fears is the fear of death—when we will leave behind all our dreams, all our material treasures and those things that pass away for a journey into the “afterlife.” This fear is terrible for many. However, for the children of the resurrection, this fear is conquered completely.
God reassures you and me: “Do not be afraid. I am with you and will save you.”
Pray: Lord Jesus, let the power of your resurrection save me from unholy fears. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday within the Octave of Easter: Act 2:14, 22-23; Mt 28:8-15]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.