Friday, April 18, 2014

Going back to Galilee

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
April 20, 2014

Matthew 28:1-10

The gospels have included the recollection of three admirable women who, on the dawn of the Sabbath, approached the tomb where Jesus had been buried. They can't forget him. They still love him more than anyone. Meanwhile, the men have fled and perhaps remain hidden. The message they hear upon arriving is exceptionally important. The oldest gospel says, "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here." It's a mistake to look for Jesus in the world of the dead. He is alive forever. We won't be able to find him where life has died.

We must not forget it. If we want to meet the risen Christ, full of life and creative strength, we are not to seek him in a dead religion, reduced to the external fulfillment of routine precepts and rituals, or in a burnt out faith sustained by cliches and worn out formulas, devoid of the living love for Jesus.

So, where can we find him? The women receive this charge: "Now go tell the disciples and Peter: He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him." Why must they go back to Galilee to see the Risen One? What is the deeper meaning within this invitation? What is it saying to us Christians today?

In Galilee, the Good News of God and the humanizing plan of the Father were heard for the first time in all their purity. If we don't go back to listen to them today with simple and open hearts, we will nourish ourselves with venerable doctrines but we won't know the joy of the Gospel of Jesus, capable of "resurrecting" our faith.

On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus began calling his first followers to teach them to live his lifestyle and work with him on the great task of making life more humane. Today Jesus is still calling us. If we don't listen to his call and he doesn't "go before us", where will Christianity be heading?

Along the roads of Galilee, Jesus' first community was growing. His followers lived out a unique experience with him. His presence filled everything. He was the center. With him they learned to welcome, forgive, heal life, and awaken trust in the unfathomable love of God. If we don't put Jesus in the center of our communities as soon as possible, we will never experience his presence among us.

If we return to Galilee, the "invisible presence" of the risen Jesus will acquire human traits when we read the gospel stories, and his "silent presence" will regain a specific voice when we hear his words of encouragement.

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