April 9, 2012 - Monday in the Octave of Easter

Today's Readings

In the Gospel today we see again the plotting of the chief priests, which we saw a lot of in the days leading up to Good Friday. Here, however, when the plotting is contrasted to the joy of the Resurrection, it becomes almost comedic, like generals moving plastic figures in a war room after they have been definitively defeated. By their plots they demonstrate that they have no regard whatsoever for the truth, but they cannot cover up the Resurrection. Jesus is the Resurrection. He appears to the women and to the Apostles. He continues appearing for 40 days, and then he appears later to St. Paul.

Of course the chief priests' story is so unlikely for many, many reasons, not the least of which is that it accuses the disciples of stealing the body and pretending to believe in the Resurrection despite the tomb being guarded by two Roman guards, and the end result was that many of them were willing to be killed and persecuted for the belief in the Resurrection. Also, how would the guards know that the disciples had come and stolen the body if they were sleeping so soundly that they did not even hear a large stone rolled away from a tomb?

Nevertheless, people believed the story. Some people are willing to believe anything rather than the truth. If someone chooses not to believe in the Resurrection, there are all sorts of theories that they can come up with. Today it is even easier. Two-thousand years after the fact people can pretend that the history is murky when it is not or that the sources are not reliable when they are. Belief so rarely relies on evidence in this life. People choose to believe what they choose to believe without evidence or in spite of the evidence, then they act as if we Christians are the ones who take something on faith.

All the witnesses, all the evidence says that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Standing against that is nothing except the fact that we have never seen a dead person rise. You and I have to decide what we will believe, but if we decide to believe in the Resurrection, at least all the evidence is on our side.