Follow the Lord
Gospel Reflection for April 10, 2023
“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.’” (Matthew 28:8-10 NABRE)
Upon witnessing the empty tomb, the women in today’s Gospel had just been told incredible news by an angel regarding Jesus. They were told that the One Whom the disciples had followed for three years, the One Whom they had all grown to love and call their “Lord,” and the One Whom they were mourning because He had been brutally murdered just a few days prior, has been RAISED FROM THE DEAD! AND, they will be able to see Him!
Imagine how the aching pain in their hearts must have been immediately erased by the overwhelming sense of awe, wonder, and joy these women experienced. The divinity of their Lord and Savior had been confirmed. Their faith had been validated. Their Lord and God overcame death.
As they ran to proclaim this exciting and wonderful news to the disciples, Jesus met them and greeted them on their way!! Jesus eases any residual fear that the women had by telling them to be not afraid, and commands them to tell His brothers to meet Him in Galilee. Obviously, the followers of Christ were in great danger during that time, but in pronouncing that they would see Him in Galilee, Jesus further revealed that the women and the disciples need not be afraid, as they would be safe in their travels.
The fact that Jesus had His disciples meet Him in Galilee is so significant! This is because Jesus went before the disciples to Galilee, and had them meet Him there. By going before them, Jesus demonstrated to His disciples that He will always lead the way, and that His disciples must always follow Him.
This call of Jesus to follow Him acts as a reminder that He will always lead His children by going before them. As a shepherd who leads his flock, Jesus goes before His children so that they can follow His ways, learn from Him, and go where He is going. Further, not only did Jesus mean He would go before the Apostles to Galilee, but that He will always go before us and be with us spiritually.
There is also an underlying message from the Savior about beginning again that can be derived from this Gospel account. This observation might not appear obvious at first, but Galilee is a very significant place in the story of salvation. It is where Jesus called His first disciples, Andrew and Peter, to follow Him, and thus, it was a significant place from very early on in Jesus’ ministry. As a result, when the angel tells the women to have the disciples meet Jesus in Galilee, the Gospel account is concluded by taking them back to the place where it all began.
This is significant because by reuniting the Apostles and setting them again on the journey, Jesus emphasized the importance for all Christians to always be willing to start again. When a Christian falls away from the faith and gets off track, they can repent of their sins because Jesus died and resurrected for them. Further, they can be assured that He will go before them and lead them to beginning again the journey of faith, just as He led the Apostles back to Galilee. Through calling the Apostles to begin again by following Him to Galilee, the Savior has called each of us to spiritually begin again and to follow the Lord in doing so.