Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 28:1-10

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Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil

Do not be afraid. (Matthew 28:5)

A powerful earthquake shook the ground. An angel, unearthly in electric might, caused tough Roman soldiers to faint in terror. Sometimes, God acts and we are afraid: afraid of his power, afraid of the upheaval it causes, or afraid because we simply can’t comprehend his ways.

The resurrection was like that. But what did the angel say? “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:5). Jesus said it, too: “Do not be afraid” (28:10). God is always out for your good. And so he tells you as well: “Do not be afraid!”

For the past forty days, you have been pursuing a deeper relationship with the Lord. You have probably prayed more and fasted or engaged in other kinds of self-denial intended to bring you closer to him. The truth is, when you draw near to him, you can be sure he will draw near to you, too. And so, if God has done something in your life this Lent, don’t be afraid! If he has spoken to you or caused your heart to pound over some Scripture passage you have read or some hymn you have sung or some homily you have heard, don’t be afraid.

Maybe he has brought up old hurts or patterns of sin. Maybe he has pointed out someone you need to forgive or ask forgiveness of. Don’t be afraid. If the Holy Spirit has nudged you in a new direction, to a new service or activity or away from an old one, don’t be afraid. You may be longing for more of Jesus but feeling reluctant to move out of your comfort zone. Or maybe you hesitate because you don’t know where the Spirit will lead. Don’t be afraid. Join Jesus in stepping out of the tomb and into the dawn of a new day!

Approach him. Embrace him. Surrender your ideas and plans and activities to him. But don’t be afraid! Come to him so that you can have life. He is near you right now, and as you approach him, he will meet you on the way, just as he met Mary Magdalene. What joy to hold onto as you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! You have nothing to be afraid of!

“Jesus, I cast aside all fear in your presence. Take my hand, Lord, and lead me in the joy of new life.”

Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

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