Thought of the day
Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday of Easter week

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church Sermon 80; CCL 24A, 490f "Do not be afraid!"

Monday of Easter week

Commentary of the day
Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church Sermon 80; CCL 24A, 490f

                         "Do not be afraid!"

“I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here.” This was how the angel spoke to the women; for that very reason he had opened the tomb. It wasn’t so as to let out the Christ, who was already no longer there, but to make it known that Christ was no longer there. “He has been raised as he said… Come and see the place where he lay” (Mt 28:5-6). Come, women, come! See the place where you laid Adam, where the human race was buried. Understand that his pardon was as great as the injustice done to the Lord was great… When the women go into the sepulcher they take their share in the burial, they identify with the Passion. Leaving the sepulcher they stand upright in faith before they rise again in the flesh. “Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed”… Scripture says: “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice before him with trembling” (Ps 2:11). 

“And behold Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.” Jesus comes to meet those who run with faith so that they may recognize with their eyes what they have believed by faith. He wants to console with his presence those whose hearing had so far left them trembling… He comes to meet them like a master, he greets them like a parent, he gives them back their life with love, he preserves them with fear. He greets them so that they may serve him lovingly and fear may not put them to flight. “He greeted them.” “They approached and embraced his feet”… “He greeted them,” that is to say: Touch me. He who endured people throwing their hands on him now wanted to be grasped… 

“Fear not!” he said to them. What the angel had said, our Lord also said. The angel had strengthened them, Christ is going to make them even stronger. “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.” Arising from the dead Christ has reassumed man, he has not abandoned him. And so he calls his brothers those who, by his body, he has made his natural brethren; he calls brothers those whom he has adopted as sons of his Father. He calls brothers those who, as heir full of kindness, he has made his co-heirs.