Mary and Mary Magdalene loved with such a perfect love that they shed their fear. Empowered by their faith and their encounter with the risen Christ, they ran on to proclaim what they had seen and what they knew to be true. They were among the first to know the truth that John later put into words: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). They challenge us to love and believe. To love Jesus with a perfect love and to believe in the power of his resurrection. Certainly they grieved and experienced their hope flagging during the dark moments surrounding Jesus’ death. But they never lost their faith. It remained a small, steady flame that was fanned to brilliant, bold new life in the light of that Easter dawn.

Our risen Lord greeted the women with the words they most needed to hear: “Do not be afraid.”