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Fearful Yet Overjoyed - Weekday Homily Video

Fearful Yet Overjoyed - Weekday Homily Video

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The Lord's Resurrection provoked many emotions. It was fear and joy for His followers who first knew of it, the women who went to His tomb. Upon seeing the tomb empty, the two Marys went away quickly, "fearful yet overjoyed." They ran for fear, they ran for joy, and they ran for love.



Their fear, though seemingly contradictory to joy, was not the paralyzing fear of danger but rather the awe-inspiring fear of the divine. It was a holy fear, a reverence infused with wonder and amazement at the profound mystery unfolding before them. In this sacred shock, they found themselves filled with indescribable joy, for they realized that death had been conquered and life stood triumphant.


Fear and Joy Intertwined


Think of the first job interview with a young person: sitting across from the interviewer, they feel a surge of excitement at the prospect of starting their career. Yet, mingled with this excitement is a palpable fear of the unknown—will they impress the board? Can they handle the responsibilities? As the interview progresses, they find themselves navigating the delicate balance between confidence and apprehension, fear and joy.

Or think of a mother holding her newborn for the first time: cradling her newborn in her arms, she is overwhelmed with immense love, unlike anything she has felt before. But intertwined with this love is a sense of vulnerability and fear—suddenly, she is responsible for this tiny life. Every coo and cry fills her with both joy and apprehension as she embarks on the journey of motherhood. Fear and joy are intertwined.

I think of my first Mass as an ordained priest: standing at the altar, clad in my vestments, filled with a profound sense of privilege and honor to serve as a vessel of God's grace. Yet, beneath the surface, there's a flutter of nervousness—will I be able to lead the congregation with wisdom and humility? As I raise the paten and the chalice, I feel the weight of responsibility mingled with the joy of fulfilling my calling. It was joy and a holy fear.


Running for Love


Both the Marys ran for something else other than fear and joy. "They ran to announce the news to His disciples." They ran for love. Remember the movie, Forrest Gump? Forrest Gump loved to run. He ran even if he didn't know what he was running for. But there was one thing he knew. His mother and sister goaded him on: "Run, Forrest, run!" Even if he had no words for it, I would venture a guess as to why he ran. He ran because he was loved. He ran on account of love.

The two Marys knew they were loved. To be loved is akin to being redeemed, to being valued. Today, as we journey through the Octave of Easter, let us embrace this same sense of holy fear and joy. Let us acknowledge that we, too, are loved and redeemed.

May the joy of the Resurrection fill our hearts, and may we be ever mindful of the resurrected Jesus in our lives.

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.