Matthew 28:8-15 NRSVue
8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers and sisters to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
11While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Judeans to this day.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
When we wish one another a happy Easter, it is not just three days in an armchair, but deep joy in the knowledge that the best part of us will cheat the grave. Our weary bones, heavy flesh, addled brain, already hold the seeds of that resurrection. We are none of us mortal.
The invitation of Jesus is to go to Galilee and there 'they will see him'. It's the same invitation he gives to us. 'Galilee' can be the neighbourhood, the family, the prayer space, the poor and the many moments we find ourselves aware of Jesus' presence. Prayer is one of them; prayer will heighten our awareness of times we met the Lord. Go back in your own memory to when God was close and be grateful. Allow God in prayer tell you to 'go and see'.
We find God in the old and familiar places of life, as the apostles found him once again in Galilee. We find him in the memories of past love and the joys of present love. We find him in our tears and laughter, and in the lovely light of a morning sunrise. We can find him so often now, because the risen Lord is not bound by time or place. Alleluia!
It has been said that joy is the sure sign of God's presence. The women experience joy at an absence which is an overwhelming presence. When I experience this liberating, creative movement of joy in my own life, I can be sure the Risen Jesus is at work in me.
The women had intimations from the empty tomb. Now they catch sight of him, 'coming to meet them'. What do they feel now. Their instinct is to worship him.
The women bring the good news of their transforming encounter, the guards bring the bad news that the body of Jesus is gone. The news that Jesus has risen is, in the end, the only news that matters. Am I a light-bringer, a bearer of good news, a reflection of the Resurrection, in the lives of others?