Grace to you, and Happy Easter!
Welcome to Day 2 of a fifty-day celebration of the joy and celebration 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 rejoicing 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" (Mt 28:5,10).
In February 2016, there was a terrible earthquake that shook virtually every house in the Kern County of California. Then I was living in 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, I found I could rely on my faith to keep my composure.
Many things we hang on to lose their relevance when catastrophe strikes. If for nothing, the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us this much. The power of God's Word means a lot to a fearful person. Much so in dealing with the fear of the unknown.
Are you sometimes worried that something terrible, or more terrifying may happen to you or your loved ones? Is your deteriorating health a source of concern? Do you fear it could be a symptom of a terminal health condition, such as cancer? Your sudden fever or cough, are you concerned it could be the dreaded COVID-19? Do you fear your life savings would vanish with the current crisis, 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 concern is fear itself.
Here is the good news one has to tuck in their hearts. The victory of the Resurrection wins over fears of all kinds. The Lord wins. So are those who walk and live in the light of the of Risen Lord.
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" (Mt 28:5). Similarly, later that same day, the Risen Lord spoke to them and the disciples, reassuring them, "Do not be afraid" (Mt 28:10).
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, and all that goes with it. Some of these include the realization that we will leave behind our dreams, material treasures, and many things we hold precious to persons we may not admire. For some, this, too, can be challenging. However, for the children of the Resurrection, this fear is conquered completely. We know nothing matters except eternal peace.
God reassures you and me: “Do not be afraid. I am with you and will save you.”
How about pass this message on to someone near you or someone who may need it the most. "Do not be afraid. The Risen Lord wins."
Pray: Lord Jesus, let the power of your Resurrection save me from unholy fears and attachments. 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]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.