EASTER DAY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION
“CHRIST IS RISEN”. This is how Christians of the Eastern Church greet one another through the Easter season. It’s not just a greeting –it’s a proclamation of the good news of Easter; the good news that the life of God in all its abundance and richness is open to us all through Christ’s Resurrection.
Today – and for the fifty days of Easter let us open our hearts and minds to the truth and reality of the resurrection. The gospel Scripture (John 20 : 1-9) for the day of Easter tells of the discovery of the empty tomb.
There are three people in this scripture. They were all totally overwhelmed by the death of Jesus but in very different ways. What about us?
The three of which the gospel speaks; Mary Magdalene , Peter and ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’,let us have a look at each.
Mary Magdalene was a troubled soul who had found comfort in her friendship with Jesus.
When his disciples ran from him, it was Mary – one of a small group of women who followed him to the cross. In the midst of adversity they show courage and faithfulness.
Before dawn Mary made her way through the dark alley ways of Jerusalem to the tomb. To her horror the tomb is open and empty. The other two were probably still asleep when she first roused them. She shouts the first proclamation for all time of Easter to the two disciples – who then run through the streets to the place of burial.
Peter just a couple of nights earlier denied that he knew Jesus. He followed at a distance, his courage had failed him. Now he is running to the tomb, possibly guilt ridden – now he wants to find out what has happened to the body of Jesus.
The third person is not named but the gospel always refers to him as the disciple whom Jesus loved.Tradition has it that this is John the youngest of Jesus’ disciples. Only Peter and he followed Jesus when he was arrested. The beloved disciple stood close, in fact he is at Calvary with the women as Jesus in crucified. It is he who receives from Jesus on the cross the last thing he had to give – his mother who he took to his own home. It is he who sees the linen cloths that had been wrapped around the deceased.
It is the beloved disciple who grasps the meaning of it all. Christ is Risen as he said.
We need to ponder this story and make it our own. What is our reaction to it? May our pondering lead us to a deeper faith in the reality of the resurrection.
May Easter be yours in abundance!
Monsignor Paul Farmer