In Pennsylvania's

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Go back to Galilee, without fear!"

As per the Holy Father's Easter Vigil homily,

"The Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ begins with the journey of the women to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath.  They go to the tomb to honour the body of the Lord, but they find it open and empty.  A mighty angel says to them: 'Do not be afraid!' (Mt 28:5) and orders them to go and tell the disciples: 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee' (v. 7).  The women quickly depart and on the way Jesus himself meets them and says: 'Do not fear; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me' (v. 10). 'Do not be afraid', 'do not fear':  these are words that encourage us to open our hearts to receive the message.

"After the death of the Master, the disciples had scattered; their faith had been utterly shaken, everything seemed over, all their certainties had crumbled and their hopes had died.  But now that message of the women, incredible as it was, came to them like a ray of light in the darkness.  The news spread: Jesus is risen as he said.  And then there was his command to go to Galilee; the women had heard it twice, first from the angel and then from Jesus himself: 'Let them go to Galilee; there they will see me'. 'Do not fear' and 'go to Galilee'....
"each of us can ask: What is my Galilee?  I need to remind myself, to go back and remember.  Where is my Galilee?....

"The Gospel is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his resurrection.  This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia.  It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.  Go back to Galilee, without fear!"


So, of what are we afraid?


Jesus' ressurection - the most important event in history - went underreported 2000 years ago and continues to be underreported, denied, and misunderstood.  God became man, died on a cross, and rose on the third day.   He tells us to announce His good news to the world.  We should be afraid of nothing!!!


No reasonable person can deny that Jesus was an historical figure – a great moral figure, to say the absolute least. Yet, He made the incredible claim to be God!  Now, to claim to be God – if you are not God – disqualifies you as a great moral figure - it means that you are a charlatan or delusional. Jesus backed up his claim of Divinity with predictions – and fulfillment – of His resurrection from the dead (While the Church has not made a judgement, there are compelling reasons to think that the burial clothes described in yesterday gospel remain as a photographic love letter to us.). 

After Roman authorities killed Jesus, they did not want His followers to snatch up His body and immortalize Him. They fortified His tomb and stationed a guard, but it was empty on Sunday morning. To posit that Jesus' sheepish pals – most of whom went MIA on Friday – could have stolen and forever hidden His body makes no sense.

While estimates of U.S. abortions since 1973 frequently hover around 57 million (cf, www.numberofabortions.com/), Pharmacists for Life International reports 308 million (when chemical and mechanical means are properly counted).  Jesus' love abounds for each and every one of us - and for each and every one of those 308 million.  We need to go to Galilee and scream that from the rooftops!

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