Monthly Message from Father John
Christ is Risen!
The First Evangelists—2019
The first Evangelists of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead were the Myrrh Bearing women who came to finish the anointing of the body of Jesus that first Sunday morning. In their way, they worried about the large stone that covered His tomb. But their worries disappeared quickly as soon as they saw the bright Angel of God sitting on the removed stone. He greeted them joyfully and turned their sadness into great joy. He proclaimed to them that “Jesus is Risen! See the empty tomb and His burial clothes!” “Go proclaim the good news to his apostles.”
The Myrrh Bearers were frightened when they saw the angel of God. The sad events of the past three days had overwhelmed them and had filled their hearts with fear. What a sudden turning around of events! Their Lord, and beloved Teacher, Jesus Christ, is now alive!
The Myrrh Bearers were now running to bring the good News of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead to the apostles! Their Risen Lord Himself met them on their way and Reassured them of His Resurrection. They bowed down to worship Him and embrace His feet.
The Apostles did not want to believe the Myrrh Bearers at first. John and Peter ran to the tomb to see for themselves. And they found the tomb as the Myrrh Bearers had told them. They returned to the other Apostles and shared with them the good news; But atthe same time, it was very difficult for them to understand all these events. They remembered later that Jesus had foretold them about his Resurrection from the dead, after His suffering.
Jesus never leaves us alone in our doubts at difficult moments of our life. Jesus himself appeared to His Apostles and showed them and Thomas the marks of His Crucifixion, as we read in last Sunday’s Gospel lesson. Thomas fell on his knees and proclaimed Jesus as “my Lord, and my God!”
We greet each other with the words “Christ is risen!” And we respond, “Truly He is Risen!” These are not mere words of formality, but a proclamation of the truth of the Christian faith. Our faith is based upon the real resurrection of Jesus the Christ, God’s incarnate Son, who became one of us, assumed our sins and nailed them to the cross, to forgive them. He, the innocent, suffered for us sinners to grant us eternal life. The stone over our graves will be removed at the 2nd Glorious Coming of our Risen Lord. All the dead will rise then to reap the benefits of their deeds in this life.
Now is the time for us to cultivate our soul and produce in humility an abundance of good deeds to reap their benefit in eternity. Let us bear good fruit as members of His Body, the Church, and participate in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, until He comes.
Christ is Risen!
With love, Fr. John P. Angelis
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