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The Marian Fathers present this Lenten devotional series to help you prepare to receive graces on Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday.

Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2A and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Mt 28:8-15
Diary: 378, 464, 1482

The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. — Mt 28:15

Our first reading today depicts Peter with the disciples giving bold testimony about Jesus' Resurrection. He recounts the deeds of Jesus and the words of the prophets. Finally, he affirms that they are all witnesses that God raised Jesus.

While Peter is spreading the good news, our Gospel reading tells of those who are trying to squelch it. The chief priests offer money to the guards — the very ones who reported what had happened at the tomb — in return for saying Jesus' body was stolen while they slept. The chief priests are confident in their bargaining power because they assure the guards that they will satisfy any issues with the governor to keep the guards out of trouble.

Sadly, the soldiers accept the offer. Even sadder is that their lie lingers. "And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day" (Mt 28:15). In the face of the bold proclamations of Peter and the disciples, there would be those who'd violently deny the truth because they had been given a plausible lie. It foreshadows the challenges that will face Jesus' followers for generations to come.

Prayer: Risen Jesus, show Your mercy to those who seek to deny Your glory.

Missed a day? See previous "From Ashes to Mercy" daily meditations.

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