Today’s gospel reading (Mt. 28:8-15) continues the one we started on Holy Saturday night during our Easter Vigil (Mt. 28: 1-10). Just as the Triduum from Holy Thursday sunset to Easter Sunday sunset (three days) is considered as one movement of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, so now, the significance of the mind blowing words, “He is risen” (Mt. 28:6-7) is celebrated as ‘one’ liturgical day over the next eight days. Beginning with Easter Sunday and continuing to next Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday), every day is considered as Easter. The readings during these eight days (octave) refer to the day of Jesus’ resurrection, or a few days after. Like Christmas, Easter joy is too special to be confined to one day. The angels sang when Jesus was born. Now an angel from heaven declares Jesus is risen (Mt. 28:2-6). This calls for a prolonged celebration. Our focus on the risen Lord during the octave and Easter Season is designed to strengthen and re-affirm our faith. Just like the two Marys in the gospel, we will have moments of fear, sadness, doubt and death. But experiencing Christ and the power of His resurrection in our daily lives gives us courage and hope to carry on. His ‘isolation’ in death is over. Victory over the ‘pandemic’ of sin is ours. Now, celebrate life in the name of Jesus. Lord Jesus, as we contemplate the reality of Your resurrection, may our faith be stirred to walk in newness of life, choosing to believe and be credible witnesses for others. Amen.