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Gospel reflection

April 4, 2021: Easter Sunday

John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.


I notice a new image in this passage: The burial cloths. There is detail about these burial garments which I had not noted before this read. A section was thrown in one area of the tomb and the garment that covered Jesus’ face and head was in a separate place. Jesus arose and cast off most of the burial cloth in a heap and then, for a reason unknown to us, cast off the head and facial covering to a different spot in the tomb. The Son of God rose from the dead and He still had to thrust off the material that covered Him? What a surprising and reassuring confirmation of Christ’s divinity AND humanity! A miracle of resurrection and an everyday bundle of laundry. Hallelujah! He is Risen! And He remains among us today.


Set your eyes upon something this week that strikes you as both miraculous and ordinary. Perhaps you see a bright yellow crocus next to a yet-barren tree. Perhaps you see the picture of a newborn baby and her harried mother. Think about how often you encounter the human and the divine in the same breath. When you notice, speak the words Alleluia, He is Risen!

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Alice Shelton

Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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  1. Avatar Don Shepherd on April 1, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    I look forward to the rapture. I look up everyday. I cannot wait!!

  2. Avatar Don on April 3, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    What an interesting and powerful action plan- to take note of the Divine and the ordinary walking hand in hand! Isn’t that the miracle of the resurrection? Eternity’s gift to the ordinary- which, by definition, gives each of us the opportunity for the Extraordinary! Thank you and may the Easter miracle be yours to enjoy!

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