“I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8)
He is Risen, indeed!
Our Lord has shattered death and appeared so that we may know eternal life through Him. That He has risen carries immense implications for us and the way that we are to live out our lives of service to Him.
Our challenge in these modern times is to continue to read these scriptures with a sense of freshness and intentionality. We can be victim to passivity, unmoved to things that are seemingly distant, or too out of touch from us. Yet, our Lord reveals Himself, and in such a way that we too know Him ever present.
If we did not have even the slightest sense of this then we could not claim any faith at all. Jesus shatters the deadened parts of our hearts and reveals Himself alive there, offering us new life in Him and also a great responsibility.
He remains ever with us, and perpetually present. The Easter Monday Gospel reading stops short of the great commission, but there is still a sense after reading the Gospel for Easter Monday of Christ’s call to proclaim, to go forth, to not “be afraid”.
In Matthew 28:20, Jesus reminds the Disciples of something very important after instructing them to go forth and make “disciples of all nations”, He tells them to teach them to obey everything that He commanded, reminding them that He will be with them always, to the very end of the age. And this too is how Jesus remains with us. This call to be obedient to what Jesus commanded is a vital part of attaining the fullness of life in Christ. It is an essential aspect of teaching about our faith, and any fruitfulness that is to come from Evangelization must be authentically rooted in what Christ has commanded. The greatest of these commands we know is love. We cannot go forth from the tomb and proclaim the risen Lord effectively if we lack love and yet, we cannot bend the commands of Christ to fit around those things that go against Christ by claiming it is out of love.
Under the shadow of the Cross and in the light of the Risen Lord, we as Christians are called to be witnesses. We are to stand firm in our belief of Him. In the Easter joy belonging to us as a result of Christ’s rising we must set our gaze above “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2). In our modern times it is a challenge to remain rooted in the call to set our minds on things above, especially as everything going on below becomes increasingly contradictory to our faith. We can be tempted and roused to respond with our passions opposed to the virtue of prayer.
As things around us seemingly spiral into a tornado of secularism and severely anti-Christian ways, amidst the storm of it all we must prayerfully petition our Lord. These events offer us a tremendous opportunity, for they challenge our faith and our trust in what it truly means to hope in the Lord.
He has Risen, be not afraid. May each day of this Easter octave, and all of our days be spent striving to live out this mystery with the joy and awe of those present at Christ’s rising.
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