In fear, yet with great joy, the women left the tomb and ran to tell the news to his disciples.
Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there, they will see me.”
As the women proceeded on their way, some of the guards went in to the city, and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this order, “Say that his disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.
We all know how the experience of falling in love can change a person drastically. For example, here we have a young man called Raymond. He is nondescript and rather timid, what we call the “mousy” type of person, shy and ineffectual. But one day Raymond falls in love with a girl who returns his love. From then on Raymond loses his grey countenance. He becomes alive, animated. His eyes shine. He laughs and jokes with everybody. He dares do a thousand things he never dared do before. Such is the power of love.
Well, a similar transformation came over Peter and his companions, as we see in today’s first reading. Only a few minutes before, Peter was holed up in the upper room, with doors locked “for fear of the Jews” (Jn 20:19), afraid for his life like a scared rabbit. But now we see him boldly proclaiming the Resurrection and, even more boldly, accusing the crowd of Jesus’ murder. What changed Peter so radically? Love. The Holy Spirit is essentially the love uniting the Father and the Son. And that eternal love has now invaded Peter’s heart and has changed him forever.
May the same blessed invasion happen to us all!
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