Joy in the Risen Christ

In today’s Gospel, we hear two sides of one story. The first side we hear is the joy of the Resurrection! Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, on their way back from the tomb, encounter the Risen Christ, who tells them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” The second side we hear is of those who fear and reject the Resurrection. The men guarding the tomb are told by the chief priests to lie when asked about Jesus’ body and to say that the disciples stole the body while the guards were sleeping. Even today, we see this dichotomy between those who embrace Christ’s Resurrection and those who reject it. Those who take joy in Jesus rising from the dead, attempt to spread the Gospel of hope throughout the world. They are those living out Christ’s commands to not be afraid and to spread the Good News. Those who reject the Resurrection are those who spread evil and malice throughout the world and reject the Truth of the Gospel. 

Many of us celebrating the Resurrection this year may be celebrating in a different way than years past. Many of our Masses are canceled, and we are not able to gather in large groups to celebrate the Good News that is the Resurrection of Christ: the rising of Love itself from the dead. In speaking of this Gospel, Pope Francis said, “Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living, and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity…Let us go, then.” In this uncertain time, many of us are experiencing desolation and desperation. It is sometimes difficult to recognize the joy of the Gospel when we cannot go and physically spread the Good News. Today’s responsorial psalm calls us to look to our Heavenly Father for refuge and reminds us that He will keep us safe. May we remember this in our times of desolation. May we have hearts like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: filled with joy at the sight of the Risen Christ! 

I hope, despite current circumstances, that as we enter into this Easter season that we are able to do what Pope Francis urges us to; may we try to give hope to the hopeless, inspire faith in the faithless, and love those who feel unlovable.

“We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song!”
St. John Paul II the Great

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Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at