Gospel Reading: Matthew 28: 8-13
Easter is such a big feast that the Church devotes a whole week to it. The Masses of Monday to Saturday this week are an extension of the Easter Sunday Mass. It is as if the Church is saying that one day is not sufficient to render justice to what happens. The readings for Easter Monday are from Acts and Matthew. In Acts 2, Peter proclaims the resurrection as foreseen by David. After having denied Jesus on Holy Thursday night, he is now fearless in proclaiming Jesus. This is one effect of the resurrection and descent of the Holy Spirit. The important thing is that Peter now knows for sure, "Jesus is alive, and sits at the right hand of the Father!" (emphasis mine)
Matthew 28 gives another account of the resurrection. Again, the church is emphasising the truth of this unique event. The resuurection is the centre of Christian teaching. If there is no resurrection there is nothing special about the message of Jesus. If he had not raised from the dead, he would have been just another wandering Rabbi who met a horrible end. But Jesus is not that, he is the Son of God and as such he cannot die and never could be allowed to see decay. Such is the teaching of the Church, that after his body died a criminals death the Father could not allow even the humanity of Jesus decay. After all, it is a "sacred humanity," a humanity united to the Word. And his resurrection is the guarantee of our future resurrection!