Monday, April 6, 2015

Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.

Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me. -- St. Clare of Assisi

Gospel Text: (MT 28:8-15)
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

"Jesus said to them: 'Do not be afraid!' (Mt 28:10)

When the first followers of Jesus learned that He had risen, some were half-fearful and half-overjoyed (Mt 28:8). This divided reaction still occurs today. When we first encounter the risen Jesus, we rejoice with great joy. Yet we also realize quickly that risen life brings new challenges and new responsibilities.

Satan couldn't prevent the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, so now he is reduced to trying to stop us from spreading the good news that Jesus is alive and has conquered sin and death forever. One of the main ways Satan tries to limit the spread of the good news is to tempt Jesus' witnesses to be afraid — afraid of evangelizing, afraid of radical lifestyle changes, afraid of stepping out in faith, afraid of change. If Satan can take hold of at least a part of us, he's well on his way to reducing us from a half-witness to no witness at all. Therefore, Jesus immediately told His first witnesses: "Do not be afraid" (Mt 28:10).

Jesus confronted fear by issuing a challenge: he sent His followers out to go and tell the good news (see Mt 28:10).

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