Filled With Awe And Great Joy

– Easter Monday –

And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said. And the women came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’ [Matthew 28:9-10]

Today’s gospel reveals the difference between those who are open to the one who is the Truth and those who are not. When the Pharisees hear the news that the tomb is empty, they immediately move to change the story. In contrast, the women at the tomb are open to the one who is the ‘truth.’  When they hear that Jesus has risen, they are ‘filled with awe and great joy.’ In light of this, we can expect that those who have encountered the risen Christ will experience awe and joy.

The challenge here is to ask ourselves if we would likely be described by others as being filled with awe and joy. More than this, can our beloved mother Church be recognised for its awe and joy at the risen Christ? If the answer in our minds is ‘no’, then it may indicate something missing in our religious experience. The measure of joy and awe we experience at the news of the resurrection will naturally be contingent on the nature of our relationship with Jesus. These women had encountered Jesus. They had followed him and walked with him. They knew him at a personal level. They loved him deeply. As such, the news that he is alive is met with awe and joy. Have we encountered Jesus in the same way? Do we follow him, walk with him, know him at a personal level and love him deeply? The resurrection is great news for us all, but how deeply we see this depends on how deeply we know Jesus.

Holy Spirit, protect us from the desire to create our own truth. Please help us deepen our relationship with the one who is truth, the risen Christ, to such an extent that our lives are filled with awe and joy.


by Peter Pellicaan

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