Manila, Philippines – Today is Easter Monday. Because of the importance of the celebration of Easter in the life of the Church, the celebration extends up to the Second Sunday of Easter. This is referred to as the “Easter Octave.“
Moreover, as one goes through the calendar of the Church, the season of Easter actually ends on the Solemnity of the Pentecost.
As the most important celebration in the Church, Easter gives us a lengthy period of reflection on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which gave hope and life to the early Church and it continues to enliven us, Christians of today, to face the challenges of life.
Matthew, in today’s Gospel (28: 8-15), tells us that some of the disciples encountered Jesus who told them to tell the other disciples that He would meet them in Galilee. Galilee was the hometown of Jesus and he did his early ministry there. Together with the disciples, they had preached, healed, and proclaimed the word of God, in word and in deed.
After Jesus’ death, the disciples had been discouraged and disheartened. They were also afraid that they might also be persecuted. Jesus thus asked them to go to Galilee for them to remember what they had done together and recall what Jesus had told them to put their hopes in the God of the living.
In our own lives, there are times when we feel frustrated or downtrodden because of the seemingly enormous problems we face. Yet, Jesus assures us that we can emerge as a winner over these things if we put our trust in God. At times, we focus our gaze on the problem, not knowing that beyond the problem is a new beginning that awaits us. Our Easter celebration must motivate us to see things clearly to see things in the perspective of Jesus who always clings to the Father for help in times of crises.
Let us not be troubled. This is the message of Easter. Let us always keep in mind the teachings of Jesus that God will never leave us, that He will always take care of us for we are His children. If we hope in the Lord, we will never fail. If we put our trust in Him, we can endure all things and the promise of a new life awaits us. Jesus is risen. May we also rise from our despair and trust the God of life and love.