Monday in the Octave of Easter

In the Gospel today, the chief priests bribe the guards to keep quiet about Jesus’ Resurrection. We might wonder why they did this. If they had doubted that Jesus was the Messiah before, surely now they have the proof they need that He was preaching the truth to them. But things are a little more complicated than that. The chief priests are human, and motivated by all the same things as the rest of us. What would happen to them if they were proved wrong on such a colossal scale? What would their lives look like afterwards? Would they still have occupations to support themselves and their families? How would they have to change? The Resurrection would make concrete claims on their lives, and that is terrifying.

The same can be said of us. If the Resurrection is real, we need to live our lives a certain way. We need to accept that this world is not all that there is. We need to accept that physical death is not the worst thing that can happen to us. We need to take seriously everything that Jesus has said, since in conquering death He has clearly proven that He has authority to back up His words. Our lives cannot look the same as it would if we were not Christians, or as it would if the Resurrection had never happened. It means giving up a lot of control and power, and embracing truths we might want to ignore. The Resurrection is terrifying, if we think about it. The urge to squelch the news of the Resurrection is not just one that the chief priests faced, but one that can lurk in each of our hearts.

April 17th, 2017