Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So, they took the money and did as they were directed.” (Matthew 28:13-15)
Fear pulls us down. Fear is that second voice that makes a mockery of our Faith. Fear is responsible for our double-mindedness at times when it comes to the things of God. When Jesus appeared to the women in today’s Gospel passage, the first thing He said was: “Do not be afraid.” This is exactly what Jesus is saying to us today.
As resurrected Christians, we must outgrow our fears; especially the fear of proclaiming the truth for the sake of money. The soldiers who witnessed the resurrection went to the chief priests to report what had happened. Guess what, just as Judas betrayed Jesus because of money, the soldiers who guarded the tomb of Jesus also betrayed Jesus by spreading a false tale because of money.
When armed soldiers begin to tell people that they were sleeping and unarmed disciples came to steal the body of Jesus, any sensible person should smell foul play here. Unfortunately, this is the case even in our country Nigeria today. We boast of a strong military force, perhaps the strongest in Africa, yet hundreds of school children are kidnapped by so-called bandits and all we hear is: “We are on top of the situation” Could we say that our soldiers were all asleep while these kidnappings were going on?
Lies are destructive. Every time we tell a lie, we are taking sides with the devil whose very nature is that of telling lies. No amount of money is worth selling our lips or selling our conscience. No amount of lies can bury the truth. If we continue telling lies, it means we are refusing to rise from the grave with Jesus.
Some Christians try to justify telling lies with the theory of being diplomatic. Was Peter trying to be diplomatic in our first reading today? You cannot be on the fence; it is either you take a stand with God and speak the truth or you support the devil by trying to keep quiet. When you know the truth and choose to remain silent all because you do not wish to offend anyone, you have taken sides with those who lied; you have taken sides with the devil.
Do not make money your god. Say the truth and shame the devil. Fear not; go into the world and announce the Good News of Christ’s resurrection.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to face my fears, especially those preventing me from serving you wholeheartedly. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Easter Monday. Bible Study: Acts 2:14,22-33, Ps. 16:1-2,5,7-11, Matthew 28:8-15).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu