It seems a bit odd to hear Jesus telling the women who had just realized he was resurrected to not be afraid. His torture and death on Friday was truly frightening; his resurrection should be filled with joy and reassurance. And yet they respond with fear.
Often humans seem to be deeply frightened by encounters with God, as if we walk around believing in God but somehow not quite believing in the reality of God. It seems we may believe in our image of God, not the real, living God.
I see a similar reaction when people view Saturn through a telescope for the first time. Yes, they believe that Saturn is a planet that exists in the universe. But when they see it for themselves, a distant tan world surrounded by rings hanging there silently in the dark, it can blow their mind. “It’s real!” they often say. Saturn doesn’t scare them. But when God breaks through like a view of the rings of Saturn, seeing the reality of God invokes overwhelming awe.
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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