- Acts of the Apostles 10:34A, 37-43
- Psalm 118
- Colossians 3:1-4
- John 20:1-9
Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed. (John 20:8)
Jesus is risen! Alleluia!
I enjoy imagining what it might have been like for Mary, Peter and “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” which tradition holds to be the apostle John, to see Jesus’ tomb empty. One line from the Sunday Gospel is “Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.” (Jn 20:8) I heard a story once about John’s experience of Jesus’ tomb. It offers a beautiful perspective.
When Mary of Magdala came into the house, she was breathless from running. She was speaking so quickly that we couldn’t understand her. Peter told her to sit and breathe. She exclaimed, “I can’t breathe! He is gone!” Then she told us of how she had risen before dawn to go to Jesus’ tomb. She couldn’t sleep and just wanted to be near him. When she arrived at the tomb, the stone was rolled away. She looked into the tomb and saw that Jesus’ body was gone.
At the end of her story, Peter jumped up and ran out the door. I followed him. I ran ahead of Peter, but when I saw the stone rolled away from the tomb, I stopped. I cautiously peered into the tomb and saw that Jesus’ body was truly missing. I followed Peter into the tomb and saw the cloths in which we had buried Jesus lying on the ground.
A little ways off was the cloth with which we had covered his head. It was folded neatly. I knew immediately what had happened. In the years that I have known Jesus, I have watched him closely. I know how his eyes light up and crinkle at the corners when he laughs. I know how he savors every bit of food as if it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten. I have watched how he folds his prayer shawl and lays it aside after praying. The burial cloths were folded just as Jesus would have folded them. Jesus’ body is not here, but he is not missing. Jesus is risen. I believe that he truly is the Son of God.
When I consider this story, I think about my own relationship with Jesus. John loved Jesus and wanted to know everything about him. He watched his every move to learn to be like him. He was a disciple of Jesus, following in his footsteps, imitating his movements, taking in all that he could to learn to be like Jesus. Because of his love for Jesus and critical study of his movements, John recognized in the folding of the burial cloths that Jesus was risen.
I want to be like John. I want to study Jesus, to learn about his life, his teachings, and his movements. I want to be able to recognize Jesus in the little signs that he gives me in my ordinary living. Jesus, I do believe in You, strengthen my faith.
Question for Reflection/Discussion: How have you experienced the Resurrected Christ in your life, the life of your family, and in the people around you?