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WHY DID THE APOSTLES NOT EXPECT THE RESURRECTION?

Father Francis's picture
Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord

Thank you, heavenly Father, for giving us your Son and raising Him from the dead. In this way you showed your approval of all that He achieved. We thank you Jesus for the example of your life, for becoming man, leaving yourself with us in the Eucharist and for dying for us on the Cross.

May we never think lightly of our sins which crucified Jesus and may we never be forgetful of what He did for us. By His life and death He demonstrated that He could not have loved us more than He did.

We also thank Mary, our blessed Mother, for the part she so generously played in our redemption. To see her Son suffer to the extent He did must have cost her dearly. It was that suffering that earned her the title, "Queen of martyrs."

Let me share with you an Easter thought. I have often wondered why not one of the apostles pointed out to the others, after the crucifixion and burial, that Jesus would rise on the third day. Why did not one of them say, 'Can't you see it is all happening just as Jesus said it would? How many times Jesus told us He was going to be handed over to His enemies, scourged and crucified, and He always added, on the third day He would rise again. Even though the tomb is guarded, let us go as near as possible to it and witness the resurrection for ourselves!' Not one of them thought like that.

But there was one person who never doubted the resurrection, and believed that Jesus would rise again, and that was His Mother, the woman of faith. On that first Holy Saturday Mary waited for the resurrection and for this very reason, whenever there is no saint day to celebrate on a Saturday, the Church allows priests to say a Mass in her honour.

There had to be a reason why the apostles forget all about the resurrection. The answer must be that they just did not want to hear what Our Lord was saying to them. They loved Him so much that they just could not bear the thought of Him ever being taken away from them. We know the mind has a subtle way of shutting down when there are things it does not want to hear.

It is very much like a mother who says to her children, 'You wait the day will come when I'll be gone and then you'll miss me.' The children say, 'Ah Mum! Don't talk like that. You are going to be around for a very long time.' Children who love their parents don't want to hear words like that and dismiss such talk to the back of their minds. That is how the apostles must have reacted to Jesus' news when He said He was going to die and rise again on the third day. Yes, they heard Him say that He was to be crucified, but then they shut their minds and did not hear the most important sentence, that He was to rise from the dead.

On this Easter Sunday let us assure Jesus that we love Him and that we are will try to keep close to Him in the practice of our faith, and that Mass, Holy Communion and at least monthly Confession are going to be very precious to us. We ask Him, too, to help us to be like Him and see the beauty that lies in each and every person, as we try to bring out the best in them.

I wish you all the joys and blessings of our Risen Lord, and peace in your lives, families, communities and in the wider world.

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