Gospel: Jn 20:1a & 2-8
Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, ”They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don‘t know where they have laid him.” Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too, saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around his head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed.
The Gospel today presents the scene that takes place right after Jesus‘ crucifixion. It is the scene where Mary Magdalene comes running to Peter and John and tells them that someone has taken Jesus‘ body from the tomb. Mary panics because Jesus‘ body has disappeared! Mary was so familiar with Jesus and the disappearance of his body made her fearful and even disoriented. She felt lost and in anguish. For having lost a friend and now losing the concrete body as symbol of everything a person has, it was heartbreaking. Have you ever experienced a time in your life when Jesus seems to have disappeared? A time when you felt the absence of Jesus in your life? These times can be very dark, frightening, and we may feel lost and alone. This experience may be brief or it may go on for days or weeks. How do we respond to this ”felt loss” of Jesus‘ presence? Do we panic and search for Him? Or do we trust that we once again will experience His presence? Are we able to stay grounded in Jesus‘ love for us? Or do we give up and walk away? In my life, when I experience the absence of Jesus, I usually come to understand that I am the one who has chosen another way – not Jesus! And even if this is not the case for you, are we willing to stand firm and wait for Jesus to come? Can we wait peacefully, trusting that Jesus is with us? Are we able to see, believe and trust that Jesus is with us? The other disciple whom Jesus loved had a more trusting posture; he saw and believed. In situations of fear and disbelief, the call is to be like the other disciple. His faith was greater than his fear. His hope was more intense than his despair. His love was faithful and not wavering. Jesus‘ absence is neither the final word on his death nor the final story of a just man but God‘s affirmation of his enduring presence and love. God‘s love is the definitive story of a life that seemingly ended in failure. Death is not the final word but the victory of redemptive love. Jesus’ life and ministry are testaments of a faithful God who brought him to life and giving us the presence of Jesus through his spirit of love and mercy.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018