Episode 426 – Courage to Preach the Good News

Because Joseph of Arimathea courageously approach Pilate and asked to bury Christ, the Myrrh Bearing women were able to see where Christ was buried. Because the Myrrh Bearing women went courageously to His Tomb to anoint Christ, the entire world heard the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. Now it is our turn to act with courage and let everyone we know about the Resurrection of Christ and bring the Good News of a better life.

Audio Version

My brothers and sisters, this morning’s gospel is another example of courage, but it is also calling us to have the same courage that we witness in the gospel. And there’s two amazing examples of courage. The gospel begins reminding us that Joseph of Arimathea, who was a rich man, respected, a member of the, we would call it the city council of his day. It says that the gospel said, “He was seeking the Kingdom of God.” It was him who earlier in the gospel went and talked to Christ in private because he was afraid. But now had he seen the crucifixion, he saw the power of God with courage, he went to Pilate, Pilate the executioner by all means. He may not have actually pounded the nails in, but it was under Pilate’s order that Christ was crucified. And yet Joseph found the courage to go to Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus so he could have a proper burial.

That takes courage, but because of that courage, the world knew where Christ was buried. You see, if it were not for Joseph’s courage, Christ’s body may have either stayed up on the cross or been thrown off into some pile because there were many, many bodies, many people who were being crucified. But because of Joseph’s courage and the proper burial of our Lord, the world knew where he was buried.

And there comes the second amazing example of courage: the myrrh-bearing women. The myrrh-bearing women who saw Joseph bury Christ before sunrise on Sunday morning, so early before the crack of dawn, they went to the tomb. Now, we don’t appreciate in our contemporary world just how dangerous that was. The tombs were the wild places. It wasn’t like going to Cycadia Cemetery with a nice gate and nice light poles and guards and the safety of the police driving by every now and then. In those days where they buried people, the tombs were dangerous places, especially at dawn, in the middle of the night practically. And yet these women had courage. They left the comfort of their home and they went to the tomb so that they could properly anoint the body of Jesus because they had to rush to get him buried because of the sabbath.

Now, they went to the tomb and they saw the angel. Because of their courage, they were the first ones to hear the good news of Christ’s resurrection. Because of their courage, we know the story and it says they went to the disciples and they told the whole story to the disciples about the angel they saw dressed in white, about the fact that the body of Jesus was not there, and the angel said, “He has risen just like He told you He was going to do.” But the apostles, the disciples, the men, they were hiding in the house. Leave it to the courage of women. There’s a saying, if you want something to get done, tell the women. Women are not second class citizens in the church. The women were the example of courage at the time of the resurrection. The women were the first evangelists of the resurrected Christ.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that Christ gave that honor to the women intentionally to elevate them because at that time, and some would argue even today, at that time, women were seen as second-class citizens, but they were the ones with courage and faith. They were the ones that God honored with the first announcement of His resurrection. And because of their courage, the church blossomed. Because they had the courage, the Apostles got told the news. Remember, they were hiding in the house, and now it’s our turn. It’s our turn my brothers and sisters to have the kind of courage that Joseph and the myrrh-bearing women had. Our society is not kind to the church. Sometimes our society even pushes against the church. Many of us know that if we show our faith in public, we risk either losing a business deal or being shunned because the world is turning against the church.

But we have to have courage because courage and faith is what will build the church. It was the courage and the evangelism of the women that brought the good news to the disciples, and they were then able to bring the good news into all four corners of the earth. That’s our job. Our job is not to keep the church private. Our job is not to keep, as the old saying goes, the best kept secret in America. If we have that type of courage, willingness to go to the society that might fight against us, not to pressure people into believing, but to give them the good news that Christ has defeated death and that because Christ is risen from the dead, we now have hope for the future. Not earthly hope, but divine hope.

We now know because of the courage of these women, that our pain and suffering and our grief on this earth is only temporary because God has defeated death. If we can bring that message to the world, if we can show that kind of courage, then the world will come to hear the good news. The world wants to hear something good. You turn the news on, and it’s anything but good news. Our courage can change that. And through our commitment and faith and courage, then people will come to Christ and people, their lives will be fulfilled, and their pain and their grief will be comforted knowing that God has been victorious. Christ is risen. Now go with that knowledge and truth and courageously proclaim it to everyone and everyone you know and everyone you meet. Glory to God.

Episode 426 – Courage to Preach the Good News

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