‘TGI Sunday not TGI Friday’ – Easter Sunday- Matthew 28:1-10
I am in love with two women, a man and an angel. Yup, I know I got your attention with that one! But jokes apart, I am in love with four of the possible six personages mentioned in the Easter narrative. For the time being I have left the guards out. But Mary of Magdalene, the ‘other Mary, the angel and Jesus have really got me smitten.
I am in love with the angel
Now that is some job I would most certainly want; delivering THE message of salvation, “He has been raised, as he said.” Doesn’t this beat all other angelic messages? Even the Christmas proclamation? I think so! But here is what really gets your attention about this angel, He has some chutzpah!
So he rolls the stone back and sits on it. That is certainly making a statement. Make no mistake, a few hours ago this stone that was blocking the tomb seemed like a ‘victory monument of the dead.’ Now with one swift move it has been rolled back, sat upon with victorious defiance, by the angel and has become the ‘symbol of victory over death.’
That’s not all! Our chatty angel takes up three verses of a ten verse pericope. In it, he conveys the greatest message of all. Interestingly, the gospel writer dedicates another two verses to describe the events surrounding the angel and his appearance.
Notice that our angels in the New Testament are focused. The have a message to deliver and off they go. So if an angel pops up in your house, how would you know if it’s good news or bad? Listen carefully to the first words. If it begins with, “Be not afraid” you can be sure that it’s very good news. That’s how Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds in the field and now the two women were addressed, before the message was delivered; “Be not afraid!”
But this favourite angel of God had also the privilege of announcing THE proclamation. “He is risen, as he said.” No wonder the chutzpah! I guess this angel pulled out his best garment for the occasion for we are told his clothing was ‘as white as snow.’ This was show time and the angel was showing off. His Lord had risen as He had said and this angel (not the devil) had the last laugh.
But I am also in love with two women
I am in love with Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James and Joseph who are also mentioned in the same gospel along with the mother of James and John in 27:55-56. These brave women were at the foot of the cross and had “followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for Him.” Such is the Lord’s gratitude that He chose these women to receive the good news.
Does service have a reward? Most certainly it did at the Resurrection. The women were faithful, faith filled and fruitful in service. In human eyes and rabbinic law, their testimony would be counted for nothing, as a woman’s witness counted for nothing at the time of Jesus. Yet the Lord, in choosing these women to bear witness to His resurrection, honours all women who also embody these virtues.
Jesus made the women “apostles to the apostles (JBC).” An apostle is one who is sent like an ambassador. Unto now, this high title of honour was shared by the twelve. Jesus just did an ‘upgrade’ with the women. They have gone to the top of the charts on Easter Sunday.
And finally I am smitten by Our Lord.
Yes, for even on this day, His big day, He thought of others. There is longing in His heart when He meets the women on the road. He is longing to meet ‘His brothers’ (verse10). Yes, these were ‘His apostles’ who on Good Friday had betrayed, denied and abandoned Him. You and I would have found it impossible to forgive. Jesus goes beyond forgiveness. Their failings are forgiven and they are brought into the closest circle of human relationship; they are made “brothers” and invited to Galilee, where it all began.
On Good Friday the story seemed to have ended. Thank God its Sunday!(TGIS)
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
References from the JBC
With deep gratitude to Candida Rodrigues who has edited the texts all through Lent
Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted via whatsap on 09820242151 (India)
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