Monday of the Octave of Easter

Matt 28:8-15

The Resurrection of Jesus: The Report of the Guard


“Peace! Don’t be afraid!”

Women were among the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus. The story is Matthew’s version of the empty tomb. Three words describe what happened: despair, shock and change. The seal of the tomb was broken, the body of Jesus was missing and the soldiers admitted that they slept. Hence these women became the ‘apostles to the apostles” and their testimony becomes historically believable. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there at the foot of the cross. They were also there when Jesus was laid in the tomb. God rewarded them for their fidelity to Jesus.

Human life maybe a moment-by-moment dying. It is, however, also a moment-by-moment resurrecting to the eternity of imperishability. In the midst of the world’s perishability God calls us to experience the beginnings of imperishability. The Resurrection of Christ means the day death died. I remember reading the following thought about Resurrection: the Resurrection explains the gospels. Belief in the Resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith it is the Christian faith.” (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Easter Octave is an eight (octo) day prolonged celebration of what happened yesterday. It is as if we have stretched Easter Sunday into eight days of sustained joyful experience of the triumph of life over death. Everyday in the Mass the Gloria is proclaimed; the color of the liturgy is white. The readings bring us back to the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection and the effects of such event in the life of the believing community (Acts of the Apostles). This octave invites us to deepen our grasp of new life and how to transform our old life into something refreshingly new.

In the early years of the Church Easter Octave was called “Dominica in albis” meaning, “a week in white.” For during this whole week, converts and pagans who were baptized at Easter went about butterflying in their white baptismal dress, proclaiming their participation in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Would that we, modern Christians of today, recapture the beauty and meaning of wearing white-colored clothes on special occasions like Easter and Sundays, to remind us of our baptism and dignity as children of the resurrection.

While shopping for a burial ground for her ailing husband, Mrs. DeGaulle was brought to a scenic hillside overlooking a panoramic view.

The mortician claimed that it was a worthy resting place for a great man. But after quoting an exorbitant fee for the small piece of land, Mrs. DeGaulle exclaimed: “But he wants it only for three days!” (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


A child once asked her mother: “Mama, if Jesus rose from the dead and took away all our sufferings, how come there are still people today who suffer from hunger, sickness and injustice?” he mother, recalling Scriptures particularly how the guards were bribed by the chief priests and elders in vv. 12-13, replied: “it’s because there are those who refused to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and lives today.”

Two kinds of people are highlighted in today’s gospel. First would be the women who first saw the empty tomb and met the Risen Lord along the way; secondly, the guards, the chief priests and elders who refused to believe in Jesus’ resurrection. The first kind, like the women, believes and remains consistent in spite of the frustrations of proclaiming the good news of the resurrection! The second group, who refuse to believe, are still entangled in fear and anger, laziness and pride, apathy and greed.

As we go through life we will be confronted with numerous “bribes,” sweetly coating and enticing but leading us to sin. in these occasions, let us be enlivened by the Spirit of the Risen Christ, who assures us: “Do not be afraid!” Discover Him in the different ‘Calvaries” of today that you may also proclaim His resurrection everyday. Rejoice, Jesus lives! (Fr. Flavie L. Villanueva, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


March 28, 2016 Monday

As Matthew recounts, it was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (mother of James and Joseph) who first saw the risen Jesus on their way from the tomb to see and inform the disciples. We must congratulate them for such a great privilege! They were given such privilege because they must have loved Jesus very much. We salute so many women throughout history who have shown great love for Jesus. In Christianity then, women are very much highly regarded.

“Rejoice!” That is Jesus’ greeting to the women. Rejoice! That must be the spirit and feeling of Easter. Who can be sad when Jesus who was crucified, died and buried is risen and is therefore alive? Wow! So, fellow Christians, let us rejoice and be happy for indeed our Lord is alive and therefore cannot die anymore. He will be with us always.

The guards were bribed by the chief priests to tell a lie that the body of Jesus was “robbed” by the disciples. Why? One reason, as Henry M. Morris would say, could be that they were afraid the resurrection “would vindicate the faith of the followers that Jesus indeed was the Messiah”. Consequently, “they were afraid they would lose their religious power and control”. It is said that for a while many believed in the lie that the chief priest and the soldiers concocted to tell. Some say the lie persisted for around 30 years and others say until the time of the writing of Matthew’s Gospel.

Sad to say that some people of the present time persist in their unbelief of Jesus’ resurrection, including the so-called “Christian” modernists, liberals, etc.(Ibid).

How much did the soldiers receive to suppress the truth? It must have been a real good sum as to convince them to agree on the fabricated story. Bribery is not something new then. Sad to say, however, that many corrupt people in our present time continue to use bribery as a way of achieving their selfish interests. It is said that the Philippines still suffers widespread corruption and one manifestation is bribery.

Finally, can you imagine how both the chief priests and soldiers involved in falsifying the truth of Jesus’ resurrection spent the rest of their lives? Do you think they slept well at night? Your answers can be as good as mine. (Fr. Ernesto Salvar, SVD | Davao City Bible Diary 2016)



Easter Monday: Three women and an empty tomb

April 12, 2009, 9:39pm

Very early in the morning of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome took spices and went to the tomb of Jesus in order to anoint His body.

Three ordinary women who were simply following what was routinary for Jewish women during that time – doing what was expected, guided by the local custom and conventional wisdom of the simple folk. As they made their way to the tomb in the early morning light, what they found puzzled them – the stone had been rolled away. Initially they thought that the grave of Jesus had been robbed but upon further examination, what they discovered alarmed them – the body of Jesus was gone.

When they entered the empty tomb, they met a divine messenger who told them the news of Jesus’ resurrection: “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him.” (Mk 16:6) The One whom they sought could not be found there anymore. If you want to find Life, they were told – the Life that transcends the dead ends, the empty tombs, of the world in which you live, then you must begin to look in a new place. But go and tell His disciples, the messenger said: “He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told you.” (Mk 16:7) The women who went to the tomb were thus the “first witnesses” of what transpired during the dawn of that first day of the week. It was their experience of this event – an interior and subjective experience – that marked the beginning of a radically new direction for them and the apostles of Jesus. It was the beginning of their encounter with “the all encompassing reality” known as the Resurrection into which they were caught up for the rest of their lives and by which they were changed forever. Unspoken grief, worry, alarm, terror, amazement, indescribable joy and fear – these were their sentiments after they encountered the empty tomb and the news that Jesus has risen from the dead.

There is no language, there is no precedent, adequate to describe the life-altering and life-giving experience of the women on Jesus’ resurrection. No wonder that the language of the resurrection stories in the New Testament is most often elusive, indirect, and densely symbolic. In a culture that did not accept as valid the testimony of women, it is indeed remarkable that the four Gospels did not hesitate to mention Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome as the first to hear and proclaim the most important message of Christianity. It has much to say about the important role of women as preachers of today. Perhaps it will be especially through the preaching of women that the mysteries of life will become real mysteries again.


My Reflection for April 21 Monday of the Easter Octave Matthew 28:8-15 – Reflection: We can never suppress the truth no matter what we do. We may be able to suppress it for a period of time but eventually the truth will come out.

The chief priest and the elders tried very hard to hide the truth about the resurrection of Jesus. But except for their supporters who refused to believe. The followers of Jesus believed that He had risen from the bondage of human death.

Just like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, we also believe that Jesus has defeated the curse of death by His resurrection. But our belief is not enough we must put into actual acts of faith our belief that Jesus has risen.

How are we going to do this? Let us do good all the time, let us help everyone who are in need, Let us be humble, let us be, forgiving, kindhearted, understanding and so forth. We need to do this so that the risen Jesus would become truly risen in our lives.

Otherwise if we wouldn’t do these worthy acts then our believe is useless. And it would remain forever a figment of our imagination and in the minds of others who know us for we did not do something to live that belief.

Are you doing something to live your faith in the risen Lord Jesus? (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


 Reflection for April 6, Monday within the Octave of Easter; Matthew 28:8-15 Reflection: Up to where are we willing to be manipulated by the many evils of money? Are we willing to lie for money? Are we willing to sacrifice our souls to the devil so that we can have dirty money? The problem with allowing money to manipulate and control us, is it will destroy us eventually.

Let us look at Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, what happened to him? He was eventually destroyed by his insatiable greed for money. Judas killed himself because he cannot anymore bear the guilt of his betrayal of Jesus.

There are many more real life stories of men and women who allowed themselves to be controlled by the evils of money. They took pleasure and served the many evils of corrupted money yet eventually they were left with nothing at all.

Here in our gospel there are soldiers who allowed themselves to be blinded by the evil glitters of money. The soldiers could have stood-up to the chief priest and the elders. They could have told them, we will not lie, we will tell the true story of Jesus’ resurrection. But they failed to seize the moment to witness for the resurrected Christ.

How many times have we betrayed our faith and fidelity to Jesus for money?  How many times have we sacrificed our honor and the welfare of our family for money? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Monday, March 28, 2016

Reflection for March 28, Monday within the Octave of Easter; Matthew 28:8-15

Reflection: Can you hide or suppress the truth?

You can never suppress the truth no matter what you do. You may be able to suppress it for a period of time but eventually the truth will come out.

The chief priest and the elders tried very hard to hide the truth about the resurrection of Jesus. But except for their supporters who refused to believe. The followers of Jesus believed that He had risen from the bondage of human death.

Just like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, we also believe that Jesus has defeated the curse of death by His resurrection. But our belief is not enough we must put into actual acts of faith our belief that Jesus has risen.

How are we going to do this? Let us do good all the time, let us help everyone who are in need, Let us be humble, let us be truthful, let us be, forgiving, kind-hearted, understanding and so forth. We need to do this so that the risen Jesus would become truly visible and risen in our lives.

Otherwise if we will not do these worthy acts then our belief is useless. And it would remain forever a figment of our imaginations. And in the process we become failed missioners for Jesus for the simple reason that we did not live our faith.

Are you doing something to live your faith in the risen Lord Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


DAD’S LAST WORDS: You have made known to me the paths of life… – Acts 2:28

A few days before my father passed away, we had our last serious conversation. It was the most meaningful talk I’d ever had with him. I kept silent as I absorbed his loving advice, summarized in three parts.

He taught me about life. “Eat less. Temper your shopping. Drive slowly. Don’t come home late unless it’s really necessary. Don’t talk ill about other people personally. Always speak in principles. Remember our household helpers, even if they’re not with us anymore. Keep sending them money.”

Next, he taught me about family. “Take care of the girls — your mom, Geegee (my older sister) and Giselle (our youngest). And make sure that Dinah (my wife) knows that she’s the most important person in your life.”

Lastly, he taught me about service. “Always thank God for the people you serve with. Treat them well and love them. They’re God’s gift to you. Be grateful to Bo (Sanchez) for bringing you to where you are now. Never stop serving the Lord.”

At his funeral, I made him three promises. “Dad, I will try to be like you — wise, generous, forgiving and loving. I will take care of the girls — Mom, Geegee, Giselle and Dinah. And I will never stop serving the Lord.” George Tolentino Gabriel (

Reflection: What is your code for living?

Lord, teach me the paths of life.


1ST READING: Peter confidently proclaims the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. This is the heart of the Gospel message of the Early Church, and it should be the same today. We must make sure that we never lose sight of it as it is truly the inspiration and source of grace in living the Gospel. We need to call each other to repent for our sins, but the greater truth is that God has forgiven us. Acts 2:14, 22-33

GOSPEL: The victory is now ours. We have nothing to fear. There is nothing in the world that can stop us from living good and holy lives as long as we surrender all to the gift of salvation made available to us through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the truth of the Gospel. This is the Good News of our salvation that we are called to share with everyone we know and meet. Let us be open to any opportunity to share the Gospel with others. Matthew 28:8-15

think:  There is nothing in the world that can stop us from living good and holy lives as long as we surrender all to the gift of salvation made available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.


DO NOT BE AFRAID: The Bible speaks of two kinds of fear: the holy fear of God, and fear of the works and consequences of evil and brokenness in the world. Of the fear of the Lord, Psalm 19:9 says: “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.” The holy fear of the Lord keeps us faithful to Him and His commands, and it leads us to always stand before Him in worship, in awe, and in adoration. It is fear that accompanies our encounter with God’s glory. This fear then is healthy and positive. The Mosaic teaching goes: What the Lord God asks is “to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” (Deuteronomy 10:12). Perhaps this holy fear is what the women first experienced as they saw the empty tomb and were greeted by an angel who explained the resurrection to them. Hence, their fear was also with joyfulness.

As regards the other kind of fear — the one that may come as we face the ugly works of evil — the Psalmist (23:4; 91:5) tells us: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil…” and “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” Now, this other fear challenged the women and the other disciples as they faced the detractors of Jesus and the guards who spread around their ill-intentioned stories and insinuations. Here, the words of Jesus Himself are clear: “Fear not.”

We note that after the resurrection — and more so, after the Risen Lord sent the Holy Spirit in Pentecost — the followers and believers of Jesus were transformed into bold witnesses and were unswayed in their conviction. Peter would stand before the Jewish leaders and declare: “We must obey God rather than men!” (cf Acts 5:29) Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your greatest fear in life? Whom do you fear the most? What is God telling you about your fears now? Pray and try to memorize Psalm 91.

Embolden me, Lord, so that I may not fear witnessing for You and proclaiming Your Word to the world.


WORD Today (Acts 2:14-33; Mt 28:8-15): After receiving with Christ His death and Resurrection, we now return to our regular daily schedule. But NOT back to same old habits and attitudes we confessed!

In today’s gospel, Christ’s faithful friends are still absorbing and understanding their experience of the 1st Holy Week. Suddenly He appears before them and they fall at His feet and worship Him. He tells them to tell others of His Resurrection. But Christ’s enemies are also at work, spreading lies and telling people that Christ is dead forever.

Lets resolve to be with the first group! The eight days from yesterday to Sunday is the Octave of Easter. Let us attend daily Mass and continue to fall at His feet and worship Him. And let’s tell the world that Christ is alive by the renewed lives we live! (Fr. Iko Bajos – April 21, 2014)


CATECHISM a Day (Mt. 28:12-13): The chief priests assembled together with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him while we were asleep.’”

Duties of Civil Authorities (CCC 2235): Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what’s contrary to the dignity dignity of persons and the natural law. (Fr. Iko Bajos – April 21, 2014).


Monday, March 28, 2016

MONDAY OF THE OCTAVE OF EASTER (YEAR C) – MATEO 28:8-15. KINSA MAY ANGAY TAHASAN SA BUHAT SA PAGSANGYAW – ANG MGA BABAYE O MGA LALAKI? Ang mga Hudiyo walay pagsalig sa mga pulong sa usa ka babaye; dili gani nila dawaton ang testimoniya niini diha sa ilang mga korte. Mao kini ang gitawag og “prejudice against women”. Apan diha sa ebanghelyo, si Kristo mipili og mga babaye isip unang magsasangyaw sa Iyang Pagkabanhaw ngadto sa uban. Sa ato pa, wala diay sa pagka-babae o pagka-lalaki ang basihan kon kinsay angay saligan. Si Kristo nagdapit kanatong tanan nga mahimong iyang magsasangyaw sa kalibotan. Si Pope Francis mipasabot niini: “To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world. Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only with words, but above all by a life transfigured by God’s presence.” Posted by Abet Uy


Acts 2: 14, 22-33; Mt 28:8-15

My Galilee

In today’s Gospel reading we have a beautiful narration of post Easter experience of some female disciples of Jesus. In the previous passage, the women are informed by the angels that Jesus is risen. “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.” So the women hurry away from the tomb.

They are filled with two emotions: fear and joy (“afraid yet filled with joy”). They run to tell the news to the disciples. Suddenly Jesus comes in front of them. Seeing him and hearing his greetings they clasp his feet and worship him. This is the first time it is mentioned Jesus is worshipped. It need not be a cultic worship but rather the beginning of acceptance of Jesus in the heart of disciples to god-status. The resurrection raises him to a new status. Jesus also tells them to inform the disciples to go to Galilee and there he would meet them.

This mention of Galilee as the meeting point of post resurrection experiences is worth considering. Galilee is the ‘home turf’ both for Jesus and the disciples. They all hail from there. The mission of Jesus started in Galilee and ended in Judea. “Every thing is over” – that is the thought in the minds of the apostles. What to do next, where to begin anew, whom to consult – these and similar thoughts filled their minds. Here comes Jesus with the simple and single answer: ‘The mission is not yet over. The first phase is over. The second phase is yet to begin and shape. And the beginning point is Galilee.’ How reassuring are these words to them!

The mission of Jesus is to be lived and practiced at the home turf. Do not wait for the “appointed” time. The time is here and now! The place is here and now! Your home, your work place, your communities – that is the place where the Jesus – experience is to be practiced and lived. That is where Jesus is to be proclaimed. As the women at the tomb are commissioned to go and proclaim to the disciples that Jesus is risen, each one of us is commissioned by Jesus to practice experiencing the resurrected Jesus at “Galilee” – the home turf. And sure He is going ahead of us there and the promise is that he would meet us there!! But what is ‘My Galilee’? Dr.  Martin Mallathu CMI


March 28, 2016

REFLECTION: We all know how the experience of falling in love can change a person drastically. For example, here we have a young man called Raymond. He is nondescript and rather timid, what we call the “mousy” type of person, shy and ineffectual. But one day Raymond falls in love with a girl who returns his love. From then on Raymond loses his grey countenance. He becomes alive, animated. His eyes shine. He laughs and jokes with everybody. He dares do a thousand things he never dared do before. Such is the power of love.

Well, a similar transformation came over Peter and his companions, as we see in today’s first reading. Only a few minutes before, Peter was holed up in the upper room, with doors locked “for fear of the Jews” (Jn 20:19), afraid for his life like a scared rabbit. But now we see him boldly proclaiming the Resurrection and, even more boldly, accusing the crowd of Jesus’ murder. What changed Peter so radically? Love. The Holy Spirit is essentially the love uniting the Father and the Son. And that eternal love has now invaded Peter’s heart and has changed him forever.

May the same blessed invasion happen to us all!


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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