‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers’


Monday, Octave of Easter – 13 April 2020

First reading

Acts 2:14,22-33God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to this

ON the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know.

‘This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:

“I saw the Lord before me always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

“So my heart was glad and my tongue cried out with joy; my body, too, will rest in the hope that you will not abandon my soul to Hades nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.

“You have made known the way of life to me, you will fill me with gladness through your presence.”

‘Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption.

‘God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’

Peace Be With You: “And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said.”


Matthew 28:8-15Tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee: they will see me there

FILLED with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.

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.’

While they were on their way, some of the guards went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened.

These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers with these instructions, ‘This is what you must say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.”

‘And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.’

The soldiers took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.


THE first reading throughout the seven weeks in Eastertide is from the Acts of the Apostles, which has an alternative title, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”. It is the story on how the Holy Spirit acting on the apostles brought about the birth and rapid growth and establishment of the Church from the Ascension and Pentecost in Jerusalem to the ends of the known world, to Rome.

This is a good time to come to know the history of the early Church, to learn the Acts of God the Holy Spirit, for it is the same Spirit at work in our own lives today.

Today, the day after Easter Sunday, the first reading takes us, hop, step and jump, to Pentecost which literally means 50th Day (in Easter).  And this is important.

God has made use of the sinful misdeeds of men to accomplish His loving plan.

On Pentecost, filled with the power and knowledge of the truth by the Holy Spirit, Peter announces the fulfilment of Scripture, the victory, immortality, and salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

What is even more stunning is that God has succeeded in His saving plan despite the human attempts to squash it by His own people, the Jews, who used the power of outsiders and foreigners (“men outside the Law’, the Romans) to have killed Jesus.

Peter makes it clear that God knew all this. Indeed, God has made use of the sinful misdeeds of men to accomplish His loving plan. This is not a time to be held back by our sin, betrayal, including that of Peter himself. This is a time to believe in Him who has been raised to life and has become the Giver of the Holy Spirit, the very life of God. God continues to love and save despite our sin and betrayal.

The gospel today continues with the passage we heard at Easter Vigil. Running back to pass the message of the angel to the disciples to go and meet the Risen Lord in Galilee, the women were met by Jesus on the road.

The Risen Master told the women to stop clasping on to Him, but get on with the mission to tell the others to go to Galilee, to encounter the Risen One. This is our Resurrection Mission as well. We are not to “clasp” on to Jesus but to go and tell others about it.

Finally, the guards at the empty tomb were bribed to tell a different story than Peter, that Jesus’ dead body was stollen and taken away by His disciples. And St. Matthew warns that this lie has remained with the Jews up to the present time of his writing. What do we tell the world about the empty tomb? What “considerable amount” of bribe will make us lie? What forms does this bride take concretely?

We are told to submit in faith, know the truth that Jesus is risen and that in Him alone will we receive divine life, life of the Holy Spirit.

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