April 13, 2020 – Monday of Eater Octave

“May the Risen Lord be the reason for us to rejoice, thanking Him for the greatest joke ever – the crushing of Satan by the power of the Holy Cross!”

(Based on Acts 2:14, 22-33 and Mt 28:8-15)

It seems that in the Greek Orthodox tradition, especially in the medieval ages, there was a very strange custom…
… The day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes!

Yeah, you read it right…
… There was a day set-apart especially, to revel in jokes!

What was the logic or purpose behind it?

It was felt that this custom was in imitation of the cosmic joke that God pulled on Satan in the Resurrection.

Satan considered that the death of Jesus signaled victory for him.

The Kingdom of darkness had conquered, so it was felt
The world of misery had overcome all goodness, so it was felt

But it was God who had the last laugh!

God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words.

The Resurrection – Jesus’ rising from the dead – was the most spectacular joke that God had pulled on Satan.

And this was celebrated, symbolically, with the custom of telling jokes.

Strange it might sound, but there is something worthwhile to reflect on the purpose of this custom

It is a call to celebrate and enjoy God’s magnificent victory over Satan and the powers of darkness.

The Gospel of the Day is the account of the encounter of Jesus with the women, who had come to the tomb.

At the desert, Satan had sought to make Jesus a fool, by tempting and luring Him through many temptations. (Mt 4: 1-10)
During His life, the Lord encountered many occasions, when He was subject to being in humiliating, mocking and testing situations
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord once again faced a trying time in battling to embrace God’s Will totally and completely (Lk 22: 41-44)
On the Cross, the soldiers and others who persecuted the Lord, mocked and challenged Him to come down from the Cross (Mk 15: 29-32)

At every stage of His Life, our Blessed Lord was put into situations of being the “butt of jokes” and the “laughingstock” and a target for many a trial, tribulations and mockeries.

The Crucifixion was meant to be the greatest of all such “agonizing” mockeries!

But… Divine Wisdom always finds a way out to triumph!
… Divine Providence always regains the way to victory!

This is the message of the Resurrection.

The women who saw the empty tomb and encountered the Lord were filled with holy fear, tremendous joy and a deep devotion (Mt 28: 8-9)

Divine Wisdom always has the final laugh in every trial and tribulation!

Are we ready to share in the happiness of this “joyful” act of the Lord?

Life may bite us sharply with ensnaring temptations and evil tendencies

Life may make a fool of us with mounting tensions and troubles
Life may put us down badly with uncertainties and doubts

We may often find ourselves mocked.

We may often, find ourselves ridiculed.

But in all such situations, let us dare to look to our Crucified Lord…
… who Himself underwent painful mocking and unfair scorning
… but had the final laugh, through the Resurrection from the dead!

St Peter expresses this joy and power that He received from the Risen Lord while addressing the people and speaking to them about Jesus, the Crucified Saviour:
“This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear!” (Acts 2:32-33)

The Resurrection gives us every reason to rejoice, even amid deadly trials

The Resurrection gives us every cause to be joyful, even in heavy tribulations

May the Risen Lord be the reason for us to rejoice and be joyous, thanking Him for the greatest joke ever – the crushing of Satan by the power of the Holy Cross!

Happy Easter to all of you !

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The Cross has great power against the enemy for two reasons:

The one is that it represents the death of the Savior, who abased and subjugated him, which this proud being hates and fears in the extreme

The other is that the Cross is a brief and powerful invocation of the Redeemer that can be employed on every occasion suitable for prayer.”

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