So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 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 is still told among the Jews to this day.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
I am surprised every year at how matter-of-fact Jesus is when encountering his friends after the resurrection. He seems to have this attitude that he’s just finished an unpleasant errand and now is off to the next duty. So my sympathies are with the women trying to cling to him. And yet as a Jesuit, I am also drawn to Jesus’ readiness to move on to the next village and phase of salvation history. It’s exhilarating while simultaneously being intimidating.
Fortunately, the women may acknowledge being afraid, but they are ready to do what Jesus asks by taking the message for the others to meet him in Galilee. His friends don’t even get 24 hours to celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ defeat of death and sin before they are being sent off by him. It portends Jesus asking me, “what’s next?” There can be no resting on our laurels and glorying in what we have done.
In order to keep our spiritual lives vibrant and real, we have to be prepared to have Jesus ask us each day, “what’s next?”
teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you
as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that
I do your will.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola