On Easter Sunday at Mass, our priest told a story of a little boy who went for a drive with his father. During the drive the father rolled down the windows in the car and while the windows were down, a bee flew into the car. The little boy started to freak out because he was allergic and he was terrified the bee would sting him. Finally, the father was able to catch the bee and held it in his hand, the little boy was able to calm down. After a while the father released the bee and it started flying around the car again. The little boy was once again filled with fear, but the father held out his hand and showed it to the little boy. There embedded in the father’s palm was the stinger of the bee. The father said to the little boy, “There is no reason for you to fear the bee anymore, I have taken away the stinger.”
This story is a perfect representation of what Jesus Christ did on the cross when He claimed victory over death. Yes, our physical bodies will die, but our souls are promised eternal life. Not only are we guaranteed eternal life; there are incredible graces and gifts that we can benefit from right here on Earth. In recent scripture readings we heard the stories of the disciples and their stories after the Resurrection. The image of them all huddled together in the upper room terrified of what was to come next is often a main topic after Easter. The disciples were literally paralyzed with fear. I find it near impossible to comprehend what those days must have been like without Jesus Christ. Even though we respect those three days when Christ died, we do not have to experience the true loss of Christ. I know what it feels like to put distance between Jesus and myself by my own design — that is a terribly depriving feeling by itself. I cannot begin to imagine what it would feel like to be completely alone without God.
Nevertheless, Jesus rose from the dead and He used that fearful experience the disciples encountered, bringing great miracles from it. The disciples ended up going forward to proclaim the glory of God without fear. They went from being weak and alone to strong and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,and whose sins you retain are retained.
~ John 20 19-31
They went forth and many ended up being martyred for their faith. They did it willingly because Jesus took away the sting of death. Without the sting they had nothing to fear, and they could do the impossible by the grace of God. I have no doubt that I will come across many things in my life that will breed fear inside, but I have the ability to conquer them. Once I recognize the fear, I can bring it to Jesus Christ and break its power. In the name of Jesus Christ everything can be overcome.