Sunday, April 17, 2022: Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord
Gospel: 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.
Can you imagine! Mary of Magdala has come to the tomb early in the morning, most probably to pray, only to find that the stone at the entrance has been rolled away. John doesn’t tell us if she looked inside, only that she ran to Peter and the Beloved Disciple. Only those who have lost someone precious and close to them can fully understand that three days after suffering such a loss you are still in a state of shock. Discovering the open tomb must have been nothing short of numbing to Mary and then to the others when they returned with her. Their first thought certainly was that someone had taken, had stolen the body of Jesus. They hadn’t understood what he had been trying to tell them. That he would rise from the dead. But the signs were there. The burial clothes and the head cloth, which had been rolled up and placed away from the other cloths, were still there. This was not evidence of the theft of a body done in the dark, in stealth and somewhat clumsily. No, this was purposeful. This was Jesus, risen from the dead as he had promised.
Over two thousand years later, with all scriptures written and centuries of theology studied, do we fully grasp the magnitude of Jesus’ resurrection? We can only imagine how befuddled and frightened Mary and the disciples must have been. They believed that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. They could see that with their own eyes. But they didn’t understand.
We are resurrection people. But do we fully understand what that means? Jesus’ resurrection is a mystery we believe. It shows us death is not an end. That Jesus is still with us. We are not alone. We are called to proclaim our belief in his death and in his resurrection in our words, our actions and in our very being. Determine how you will do just that each day this week.