Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts2,14,22-33; Resp. Psalm: Ps16,1-2,5-11; Gosp. Accl.: Ps118,24; Gospel: Mt28,8-15
Joy, unspeakable joy, filled the hearts of the women who today were privileged to see the Risen Lord. This is because from now on, the Lord would only appear to these privileged ones who would be saddled with the responsibility of making the gospel known and taking it to the ends of the earth. These women were therefore very privileged and must have cherished this encounter till their dying days.
They were not just privileged. They were given a message for the other disciples and brethren. Our Lord called Him followers brethren in this encounter to express the new relationship of collaboration that He was entrusting to them and express His deep closeness to them in this new role they were going to assume on His behalf.
The truth of the Resurrection was to be testified to by the brethren. But even before the reality of the resurrection dawned on people, the chief priests and the elders had taken counsel, arranged and bribed the soldiers and the guards at the tomb to disseminate lies about the resurrection. The word of God in today's gospel ends on this sad note: "So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day."
The schemes of man cannot cover up the great workings of God. No matter how man tries to cover up the truth, it will eventually come out into the open. The first reading today bears eloquent testimony to this. On the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke the word of God to the people. He bore witness to the crucified but Risen Lord.
Peter showed by means of scripture that the prophecies of old were brought to fulfillment in Him, that our Lord was that descendant of David and thus the Messiah that was foretold about. He testified to the great preaching of the Lord while on earth, that He was delivered by the Jewish people to be killed by lawless people, but that His resurrection from the dead was already prophesied about.
To this resurrection, the disciples were all witnesses. But this was not all. According to Peter in his testimony, "Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you see and hear."
The powerful testimony of Peter to the resurrection was born out of personal encounter with the Risen Lord. It was born out of personal conviction about what he had experienced, which was the great privilege of encountering the Risen Lord. That privileged encounter would form the base of their witnessing to Him as they took His gospel everywhere and sowed the seed of God's word in people's hearts.
Today, the Risen One asked the disciples to meet Him in Galilee. He calls us today too to meet Him there, to experience His divine presence, to encounter Him so as to be blessed by His presence. Let us go to meet Him today. Let us allow His risen presence touch our lives.
Let us pray: "O God, who give constant increase to your Church by new offspring, grant that your servants may hold fast in their lives to the Sacrament they have received in faith." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.