Easter Monday, April 17

The Report of the Guard
Matthew 28:9-15

Here we find both Mary and Mary Magdalene as unprepared for Jesus’ resur­rection as they were for His death. The empty tomb caused them both fear and joy. Had Jesus really risen from the dead? Where was His body? Although Jesus had previously spoken of His death and resurrection, they couldn’t believe this had occurred until they actually saw and touched the risen Lord. The guards delivered this astounding news to the chief priests and elders who rejected it. Determined not to promote the belief that Jesus had risen, they bribed the guards into deceit, with the goal of preventing anyone from believing this.

We are not so unlike these women. Are we prepared to meet the Risen Lord? Human faith seeks understanding. Before we believe, we want to see with our own eyes. What constitutes the basis of our faith in Jesus’ resurrection? Faith is freely given to us by God as found in His word: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). The Lord reveals Himself to those who believe in His word, filling us with new life in His Holy Spirit: “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

Living out Easter – Are we living in the joy and hope of Jesus’ resurrection? Do we recognize and feel the presence of the Risen Lord in His word; in His bride, the church; and in the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ? Lord, may we continually live in the joy and hope of Your resurrection, never losing sight of its profound truth and precious saving grace for our lives.

Author – Betty Piephoff is married to Bill DeAngelis. With their daughter Erin, Betty and her family returned to her hometown, Tallahassee, in 2015, after living over forty years in Atlanta, GA. She taught elementary school, worked as an art therapist, and served as case manager for the Alzheimer’s day program at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.