Mary Magdalene and women at the empty tomb of Jesus on day of Resurrection, relief on the baptismal font, church of Saint Matthew in Stitar, Croatia
The photo depicts the Resurrection of Christ and was taken by my husband during a passion play in 2017.
By Julie Anderson Member, Hosea Board of Advisors
Recently while researching the role of angels in the life of Christ, I stumbled across a lesser known celebration of the Easter season, that of Monday of the Angel. Curious, I took a few minutes to learn more about it.
Celebrated as what is known as “little Easter” in many European and South American countries, the day after Easter is a public holiday in countries such as Germany, Croatia and Italy. In Italy, the day is known as Lunedi dell’ Angelo and honors the angel’s role in proclaiming Christ’s resurrection.
St. Matthew writes, “After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,* Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples (Matthew 28:1-7).”
Did you catch that last part? The women ran from the tomb. They ran with joy in their hearts. They ran, announcing the good news of Christ’s resurrection as shared with them by the angel.
Of Greek origin, the word “angel” translates as “messenger” in English. The women who visited the tomb that first Easter morning heard the message of truth as heralded by the angel. Then, they ran to tell everyone around them. In doing so, they became messengers of truth and life.
In today’s world, we don’t necessarily think about messages in the same way. We send email messages and text messages to family and friends on a daily basis. In fact, most people get inundated with hundreds of messages every day. Still, I wonder if we received a message directly from an angel if we would give it our full attention? Would we rush to share the message with everyone around us?
The message of Christ’s resurrection is the single greatest message the world has ever been given throughout all of history. Christ conquered death, and because he died for us, we have the opportunity to live with Him forever in heaven!
As I reflected on Christ’s resurrection as a central tenet of the Christian faith, the words of St. Paul came to mind. He devoted an entire chapter of one of his epistles to Christ’s resurrection and what it will mean for everyone on the last day. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:58).”
To me, the verse implies trumpets will continue to herald a message of truth, life and love until Jesus comes again in glory. Yet, how?
The word “herald” can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it refers to official messengers or those who proclaim news. As a verb, herald means “to give notice of” or “announce” something.
Given the definition, it’s no surprise trumpets and similar-sounding instruments are often used to announce someone or something important. Take, for example, the United States Army Herald Trumpets who serve as the official fanfare ensemble for the president of the United States or the shofar, the Jewish horn used to awaken and inspire people to repentance and change on Jewish holy days such as Rosh Hashanah.
Getting back to St. Paul’s words about the last trumpet, I think believers everywhere are called to be messengers of truth and heralds of the Gospel of Life until the last day. We should all heed the words of the prophet Isaiah who instructs us to, “Raise your voice up like a trumpet (Isaiah 58:1).”
Here at Hosea Initiative we encourage all prolife-minded individuals to raise their voices up like trumpets in defense of the most precious gift God has ever given us-the gift of life, the very gift he gave us by virtue of His resurrection. In fact, Isaiah’s rallying cry served as the theme of Hosea Initiative’s first “Life is Beautiful” gala held this past December.
The gala reminded those in attendance this year is a pivotal one, especially here in the United States. As our nation prepares to elect a president and vice-president, it is important that we, as faithful believers in the resurrection of Christ, raise our voices up like trumpets for life each and every day leading up to the election.
How will you “raise your voice up like a trumpet” for the unborn? How will you serve as a messenger of truth and a herald of the Gospel of Life?
ACTION ITEM Order your "Raise Up Your Voice Like a Trumpet" ornament HERE!!
Julie Anderson is a member of the Hosea Board of Advisors, a freelance journalist of 20 years and a prolife advocate. She writes from her home state of Kansas. For her full bio, see hosea4you.org.
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