Fear. That is a four letter word that has had such power over my life. I grew up with fear. It is there right after every thought. It is there every place I go. It is in my dreams. It is a heavy weight I carry, sometimes so heavy I can't move.
When I turn on the news I see fear in the people of my community, in people around the country and in people around the world. COVID-19 has trapped the people of the world in fear.
It is Holy Saturday and we are in the silence of the tomb. Yesterday Jesus suffered a brutal death on the cross. His disciples were in great fear for their own lives as followers of Jesus. They were also fearful of being without Him.
Tonight we celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass, the greatest Mass our our Catholic faith. In tonight's Gospel reading two women go to the tomb looking for Jesus and find He is not there. An angel appears and tells them Jesus rose from the dead. It says the women leave with joy, but fearful. Then Jesus is standing before them saying, "Do not be afraid." (Matthew 28:10)
Throughout the readings of the Easter season these next few weeks Jesus will appear to His disciples and will tell them, tell us, not to fear. He tells them and us, peace be with you. It constantly amazes me how deeply our God knows us. He knows that we suffer from fear. Fear is mentioned in the Bible 365 times. Every day of the year we can turn to God's Word to fight through our fear.
This Easter let's let the Light and Peace of the resurrected Jesus bring us new life, life that walks through fear to thrive. Let's celebrate the King of Kings, the one who loves us so much He laid down His life for us. Let cries of ALLELUIA! fill our hearts.
Tonight before you go to sleep, prayerfully listen to the story of the King of Kings by clicking here. Wake on Easter morning with joy, not fear!