"At this Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news.' " —Matthew 28:10
The guards at Jesus' tomb felt the earth quaking (Mt 28:2). Then an angel, who looked like "a flash of lightning," rolled the stone away from Jesus' tomb (Mt 28:2-3). "The guards grew paralyzed with fear of him and fell down like dead men" (Mt 28:4). Nevertheless, a few hours later these same guards were not afraid to take a bribe to lie about Jesus' resurrection (Mt 28:12-13). These lies have been so successful that they circulate "to this very day" (Mt 28:15). We who are called to witness for the risen Christ must recognize that, as awesome as were the events surrounding Jesus' resurrection, there are formidable powers opposing us.
Easter is a feast of light, and Jesus calls His disciples "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14). However, strong forces are attempting to put our light under a bushel basket (Mt 5:15). In fact, many Christians have many layers of bushel baskets over their light. If we take off the bushel basket of fear, for example, the bushel baskets of lukewarmness, unforgiveness, self-hatred, depression, laziness, anxiety, lust, and compulsions may still be covering us.
We need power from on high (Lk 24:49), the Holy Spirit, to remove all our bushel baskets and to make us witnesses for the risen Christ (Acts 1:8; 2:32). We need to receive anew the graces of our Baptism by which we received the Holy Spirit originally. Continue to reflect on and deepen the renewal of the baptismal promises which you made yesterday. Let your risen light shine.
Prayer: Father, give me faith to move mountains (Mt 17:20) and bushel baskets.
Promise: "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever." —Ps 16:11
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who holds "the keys of death and the nether world" (Rv 1:18). We rejoice in You, Lord, forever (see Phil 4:4). Alleluia!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999