Let us read the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew Chapter 27:55-66 and Chapter 28:
"27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.
57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the Body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the Body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the Body, he wrapped It in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid It in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 'Saying, Sir, we remember, that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, 'He is risen from the dead:' so the last error shall be worse than the first.' 65 Pilate said unto them, 'Ye have a watch: go your way, make it, as sure as ye can.' 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the Angel of the LORD descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the Angel answered and said unto the women, 'Fear not ye: for I know, that ye seek Jesus, Which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place, where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell His disciples, that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.' 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great Joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, 'All hail.' And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, 'Be not afraid: go tell My brethren, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.'
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things, that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, 'Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away, while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.' 15 So they took the money and did, as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I Am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen'" (KJV 1611).
Easter Sunday Reflections: In our Easter Sunday Gospel Reading, we see the aftermath of the Crucifixion of Jesus. Several women called Mary ministered unto Jesus' lifeless Body, because they wanted to show respect for Jesus, Who is the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, and equally God with Yahweh and the Holy Spirit. Both Yahweh and the Virgin Mary were heart broken, because their Son was dead. St. Joseph of Arimathaea also wanted to show the late Jesus his respect, so he gave Jesus his very own tomb, which no one had ever used before and no one would ever use again after Jesus' Resurrection from the dead.
The Angel of the LORD challenged the women on Easter Sunday aka Resurrection Sunday to not be afraid, because Jesus is alive and He always will be alive. This was a really bold challenge. The Angel of the LORD had another Holy Angel there at the tomb with him and the Angel of the LORD told these frightened Jewish women not to be afraid. The Angel of LORD would have us also not be afraid in the face of adversity, because Jesus is alive. Sadly many things are scary even to adults, because stories have been told down through the ages about scary things. Holy Angels, even though they are nice to humans, are still scary. That is one of biggest things, which Holy Angels and Demons have in common; they are scary. However, listen to the Angel of the LORD; Jesus is alive! Jesus died to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and our personal sins. The women worshipped Jesus, when they met up with Him, and they told Jesus' disciples, that Jesus had resurrected from the dead. May we find ways to tell people the Good News, that Jesus is alive forever more!
After Jesus' Resurrection from the dead, He told His disciples, that He would have all authority for now on. Jesus also instituted Trinitarian water Baptism to be a Free Gift for every single person and He instructed His disciples to teach all people, what Jesus had taught them. Jesus also wanted them to teach people all of the observances, which Jesus talked about. May we celebrate Easter Sunday and the entire seven week Festival of Easter without fear boldly telling everyone the Good News, that Jesus died to save them and that He arose again on Easter Sunday, so our Faith would not be in vain. The Easter Gospel is not fiction; it is pure history and it was the first holy festival, which Christians celebrated. Let go and tell everyone, what Jesus has done. Amen!
April 2020 Book Signings:
1. I'll be having a book at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday April 4, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM. (This event was postponed due to my car needing repaired.)
2. I'll be having a book signing at the 2020 Arts Place Literature Festival held in Dicke Hall at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina, Ohio on Saturday April 18, 2020 from 9 AM to noon. (Update: Wright State Lake Campus is still closed to large groups of people due to the Corona Virus situation, so I think, that the 2020 Arts Place Literature Festival is probably postponed until next year. Please feel free to order my books from the shop section of my website.)
October 2020 Book Signing(s):
1. I'll be having a book signing at the Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show at the Vaughnsville Community Center in Vaughnsville from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: I will be hosting the 2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show on Saturday October 31, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM at the Vaughnsville Community Center on State Route 12 in Vaughnsville, Ohio. I'm looking for vendors to come and sell their merchandise. I'm pretty much open to anything legal and clean, but homemade baked goods and craft items are preferred. Please see my "2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: Vendor Entry Form" blog post for more information:
My Green Irish Angel Statues: My Green Irish Angel Statues are really cute! They are only $1 each and they make great gifts. I have three kinds: 1. Cross-Bearing Angels, 2. Praying Angels, and 3. Angels Holding Butterflies. I like the Cross-Bearing Angels the best, because they are carrying Crosses. Each one bearing a Cross reminds us, that Jesus died on the True Cross to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's Demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and their personal sins. They're available exclusively at Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on the corner High Street and Chestnut Street in between Circle K Gas Station and Zion Lutheran Church (NALC) in St. Marys, Ohio.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, Wagner’s IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
Thank you and Happy Easter!
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)