The Great Deception

Matthew 28: 8-15
Acts 2:14,22-33 / Psa 16

…this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
(Matthew 28:15)

The faith of the Jews did not bear fruit
Because of their lies and deception,
But our faith is based on love and truth,
And the hope of Christ’s Resurrection.

(Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They came up to Him and embraced His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. They assembled with the elders and took counsel, then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers and said, “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; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. (Matthew 28:8-15)

Reflection

Today’s Gospel account paints a picture of two contrasting traits: the vulnerable and innocent women who were devoted to Jesus on one hand, and the dishonest Roman guards and deceitful Jewish authorities on the other. The former were afraid but overjoyed by the miracle of the Resurrection, while the latter used their money and power to propagate the lie that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Because of their deceit, the whole Jewish nation has remained ignorant up to the present time that the Messiah had already come. God had favored the weak because the strong had forsaken Him. So He had abandoned them to their antiquated form of worship.

The Judaic and Christian religions are two contrasting faiths that are irreconcilable. The former is monotheistic, while the latter is Trinitarian. The Jews deny the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, a tenet that is central to our Christian faith. We are Christians because we believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, crucified and killed for the redemption of our sins, and was resurrected from the dead in fulfillment of all that was written about Him in the Old Testament Scriptures. All of these are contained in the Credo of our Catholic faith.

In today’s first reading, St. Peter cited a prophecy in the Scriptures about Jesus’ resurrection when he quoted the psalm of King David: “… you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ He said, “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it” (Acts 2:27-32). May we also continue to give witness to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to others, especially to those who are curious about our faith.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Who destroyed death and brought us to life. Hear our prayers which we offer in the hope of eternal glory, and grant that we who have received new life in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus may always praise and worship You, Father, with Your Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

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