MONDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER

April 17, 2017

Acts 2:14, 22-33

 

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me,
 for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;

therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
 moreover my flesh will live in hope.

For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
 or let your Holy One experience corruption.

You have made known to me the ways of life;
 you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
 nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.

 

Psalm 16:1-2a, 5,7-11

 

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord,

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    

you hold my lot.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    

in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;
    

because he is at my right hand,

I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    

my body also rests secure.

For you do not give me up to Sheol,
    

or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
    

In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    

in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

Matthew 28:8-15

 

So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

(NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

As we read the Gospel message and learn about what took place after the resurrection of the Lord, we see the varying responses that people had. They all heard the same reports from eyewitnesses that Jesus rose from the dead. Whereas some people rejoiced and spread the word, others did everything in their power to deny the truth.

 

It is probably the height of human arrogance to look God in the face and lie about the truth He has revealed to us. Yet every day these things happen. We can follow the truth or not. Denial is a choice we make. 

 

What happens after the resurrection is up to us. The truth is eternal and what we do with it has eternal consequences. But we are free to accept or reject it. It can change us and make us disciples who worship our savior or who insist we can go on without Him. We have been empowered to make our own fate.

 

Knowing what we know as believers: that the truth is not something we create but that denial is, it is incumbent on us to share what we know and believe to others, challenging them to acknowledge the truth. Our own lives are secure – but our work is to make new life in Jesus something that is known to others.

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire to live my life in the fullness of your truth. Thank you for the joy of the resurrection and for all it promises to me. May I live a life that reflects this faith in You and be a witness to those who do not yet know You. Amen

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