WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Monday in the Octave of EasterLectionary: 261

Reading 1 ACTS 2:14, 22-33
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,

raised his voice, and proclaimed:

“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.

Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.

Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God

with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,

which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.

This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,

you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.

But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,

because it was impossible for him to be held by it.

For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,

with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;

my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 

because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,

nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.

You have made known to me the paths of life;

you will fill me with joy in your presence.
My brothers, one can confidently say to you

about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,

and his tomb is in our midst to this day.

But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him

that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,

he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,

that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld

nor did his flesh see corruption.

God raised this Jesus;

of this we are all witnesses.

Exalted at the right hand of God,

he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit 

that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;

I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”

O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,

you it is who hold fast my lot.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

or:

R. Alleluia.

I bless the LORD who counsels me;

even in the night my heart exhorts me.

I set the LORD ever before me;

with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,

my body, too, abides in confidence;

Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,

nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

or:

R. Alleluia.

You will show me the path to life,

fullness of joys in your presence,

the delights at your right hand forever.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Alleluia PS 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

This is the day the LORD has made;

let us be glad and rejoice in it.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,

fearful yet overjoyed,

and ran to announce the news to his disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.

They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.

Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, 

and there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city

and told the chief priests all that had happened.

The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;

then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

telling them, “You are to say,

‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’

And if this gets to the ears of the governor,

we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.

And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

REFLECTION: “WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING”

“His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were asleep.” –Matthew 28:13
The soldiers guarding the tomb were the first witnesses to the Resurrection. As they guarded the tomb of Jesus, “there was a mighty earthquake, as the angel of the Lord descended from heaven…The guards grew paralyzed with fear of him and fell down like dead men” (Mt 28:2, 4). The chief priests instructed the soldiers to say that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole him when they were asleep (Mt 28:13). If the soldiers were indeed asleep on the job, how could they know what happened while they were asleep? Since guards were often punished by death when they failed on their guard (e.g. see Acts 12:19; 16:27), their excuse that they were asleep is also weak, in that the next logical question would be: “Then why are you still alive?”
Additionally, if any of the soldier guards were asleep and did hear the supposed noise of the disciples rolling away the “huge” stone (Mk 16:4), that soldier would have roused his mates and stopped the attempt to steal Jesus’ body. Moreover, the disciples spent their time immediately after the death of Jesus locked inside the upper room in fear. If the disciples did steal the body, they would have announced it to the world the day after Easter to publicize the Resurrection and gain an advantage in their cause rather than waiting fifty days to make it known. The entire excuse by the chief priests is so flimsy that it can be easily debunked.
The forces of evil cannot overcome the Resurrection of Jesus. No, Jesus is truly risen! The tomb is empty! The Resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. Repent of any unbelief in the Resurrection of Jesus, and live in the freedom of risen life.
PRAYER: Jesus, may I live every day in risen, new life.

PROMISE: “This is the Jesus God has raised up.” –Acts 2:32

PRAISE: Praise You, risen Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth. All creation gives You glory. Alleluia!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s