Gospel Reflection – Monday, April 1, 2024 – Matthew 28,8-15 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 2,14.22-32)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood, together with the eleven apostles, raised his voice and spoke to the crowd:

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved by God, among you, for the miracles, wonders and signs that God performed, through him, among you. You know all this well. God, in his plan and prediction, determined that Jesus would be delivered into the hands of the wicked, and you killed him, nailing him to a cross. But God resurrected Jesus, freeing him from the anguish of death, because it was not possible for it to dominate him.

For David says of him: ‘I always saw the Lord before me, for he is at my right hand so that I should not waver. My heart rejoiced and my tongue rejoiced, and even my flesh will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in the land of the dead nor will you allow your Holy One to experience corruption. You made me know the paths of life and your presence will fill me with joy’.

Brothers, allow me to say frankly that the patriarch David died and was buried and his tomb is among us to this day. But, being a prophet, he knew that God had solemnly sworn to him that one of his descendants would occupy the throne. It is, therefore, the resurrection of Christ that he predicted and announced with the words: ‘He was not abandoned in the region of the dead and his flesh did not know corruption’. In fact, God resurrected this same Jesus and we are all witnesses to this.”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mt 28,8-15)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, the women quickly left the tomb. They were afraid, but they ran with great joy to tell the disciples the news. Suddenly, Jesus met them and said: “Rejoice!” The women approached and prostrated themselves before Jesus, hugging his feet.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.” When the women left, some guards of the tomb went to the city, and reported to the high priests everything that had happened. The high priests met with the elders, and gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying to them: “Tell them that his disciples came during the night and stole the body while you were sleeping. If the governor finds out about this, we will convince him. Don’t worry.”

The soldiers took the money and acted in accordance with the instructions received. And so, the rumor spread among the Jews, until this day.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My brothers and sisters in Christ, may the peace of the Lord be with you all. Today, gathered as a community of faith, we are called to delve into the depths of the Word of God, found in the biblical passages presented to us: the first reading of the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Matthew. These precious scriptures invite us to reflect on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the transformative impact it has on our lives.

Imagine for a moment that Sunday morning, right after the Saturday of silence and sadness that followed the crucifixion of Jesus. The women who followed Jesus, full of love and devotion, went to the tomb with their hearts full of sorrow. But what they found there was something that would change everything.

An angel of the Lord appeared before them, with a face as bright as the sun and shining robes. Can you imagine the shock, amazement, and joy that filled your hearts when you heard the angel’s words? “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus, the crucified one. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Mt 28,5-6).

These words echo through the centuries and reach us in this sacred moment. They invite us to contemplate the fundamental truth of our faith: Jesus is risen! Death did not have the last word. Light overcame darkness. God’s love triumphed over sin and death.

But what does this resurrection mean for us? How can we allow this truth to transform our daily lives?

The first reading of the Acts of the Apostles offers us a powerful answer. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stands up before the crowd and boldly proclaims the resurrection of Jesus. He reminds us of the ancient prophecies that pointed to this glorious event.

Peter reminds us that Jesus was delivered into the hands of sinners, crucified and killed, but God resurrected him. This was no accidental event, but the fulfillment of the divine promise. The resurrection of Jesus is the definitive proof that God keeps His promises, that He is faithful and merciful.

This message is not just an ancient story, but a living, breathing reality that touches our lives today. The resurrection of Jesus leads us to reflect on who He is and what He has done for us. He is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the one who conquered death to give us eternal life.

Faced with this glorious truth, we are invited to respond with faith and conversion. We are called to repent of our sins, to abandon old ways and to embrace the new life that Christ offers us. The resurrection of Jesus is an invitation to leave behind a life of mediocrity and live with passion and purpose.

But this response of faith is not limited to words and feelings. It manifests itself in concrete actions, in a life transformed by the love of God. As disciples of the resurrected Jesus, we are called to be living witnesses of his presence in our lives.

Allow me to share a story with you. There once was a woman named Maria, whose life had been marked by sadness and despair. She struggled with depression and felt like her life was meaningless. But then, Mary found the resurrected Jesus.

She experienced His love and mercy in such a profound way that her life was transformed. Maria discovered a new purpose in serving others, especially those most in need. She began dedicating her time and resources to helping the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. Her life became a tangible expression of God’s love in action.

Like Mary, we are called to encounter the resurrected Jesus in our own lives and allow Him to transform our perspectives and actions. Maybe you’re struggling with loneliness, sadness, or a lack of purpose. Perhaps you are facing challenges in your marriage, your family, or your work. Know that the resurrected Jesus is present in each of these situations, ready to bring hope, healing and renewal.

But how can we encounter the resurrected Jesus in our everyday lives? Allow me to offer some practical suggestions:

First, open your heart to Him. Dedicate time to prayer and meditation, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Talk to Jesus like a close friend, sharing your fears, joys, and hopes.

Second, immerse yourself in the Scriptures. The Bible is the living Word of God, and in it we find revelations about who He is and how He acts in our lives. Make daily Bible reading a priority and allow biblical stories and teachings to shape your mind and heart.

Third, participate in the sacraments. Through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, we are strengthened and renewed in our faith. Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist unites us intimately with Him and nourishes us spiritually. And Confession offers us forgiveness and reconciliation with God, freeing us from the weight of sin.

Fourth, serve others. The love of the resurrected Jesus is manifested in service to our brothers and sisters. Look for opportunities to be an instrument of peace, love and compassion in the world. Visit the sick, feed the hungry, welcome foreigners. With every act of kindness, you will be bringing a ray of divine love to those who need it most.

My beloved, the resurrection of Jesus is a truth that goes beyond any human explanation. It is a reality that invites us to a life of hope, joy and purpose. May this truth penetrate our hearts and manifest itself in our daily lives.

May we be courageous witnesses of God’s love, bringing the light of Christ to every corner of the world. May we proclaim the resurrection of Jesus with our words and actions, inspiring others to find the true and full life He offers us.

At this time, I invite each of you to a brief moment of silence. Allow this truth to resonate in your hearts. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about how to apply the lessons from these Bible passages in your personal lives.

May the Lord, who rose from the dead and lives forever, grant us all the grace to live as true disciples of Him. May He fill us with courage, love and hope, so that we can transform the world around us.

May the Virgin Mary, the first witness of the resurrection, intercede for us and guide us on the path of holiness.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God bless you all.