Monday in the Octave of Easter
The apparitions of Jesus
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this 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. They 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.’… The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day). Mt 28,8-15
No event, in the history of the mankind, has created so much bustle as the tomb vacated by Jesus. Those who deny the resurrection have to clash against that grave, so much that even today, two thousand years later, someone is still looking at it, hoping not to find it empty. This would also be a proper way to ensure the truth, if it would be not moved by the preconception that the resurrection of Jesus could not have happened. Then there is the wrong way, described by Matthew in the today’s gospel, which is to buy the witnesses. To these, which are the strategies of the world to deny and to fight the event of his resurrection, the apparitions of Jesus to the women, to the disciples of Emmaus, to the apostles and finally to Paul of Tarsus can be contrasted. The hypothesis of a certain suggestion could also be motivated against the former, but it is difficult to refute the apparition to Paul of Tarsus, while on the road to Damascus to arrest the first christians. The apparitions of Jesus after the resurrection were essential for the faith of the apostles and consequently these are the same for us, as well as are those of the Lady in the places where later the sanctuaries have been built. These are signs more valuable to support the faith of the christians, called to witness the gospel, better than to directly convert the non-believers: with some exceptions, like the apparition to Paul of Tarsus. Even in the history of each person and every family which believes several signs occur. Some are so large as to be visible to a naked eye, others must be observed under the microscope of the faith, but, after a proper reading, they are always very clear. It is good to feed our prayer by remembering the ones and the others, in an attitude of deeper and deeper gratitude towards the Lord.