Gospel John 20:1-9
The night is over – this is the time for Joy, the time of Celebration, the time of Feasting. Our beautiful Church decorated with white and gold, the flowers, and the candles represents externally the joy of our celebration, the homage that we pay to Jesus our Lord that has conquered death. This is the time of celebration but also the time for each one of us to become witnesses. Witnesses of this reality that we not only know about but that we experienced in our lives, our communities and our hearts.
I would like to take seven words from the Gospel that will help us in our meditation to see which behaviour we are invited to live during this Easter time – from today until Pentecost.
- ‘On the first day of the week… early in the morning, while it was still dark…’
In normal days, Monday is the day dedicated to the Moon, Tuesday is dedicated to Mars, Wednesday is dedicated to Mercury, etc. Sunday is the day of the Sun – the new light that is Jesus. Not only the physical sun but the Sun of life, faith and Resurrection. On that day early in the morning it looks like Mary Magdalene and the women were full of anxiety. This year for all of us, anxiety is getting sick, is losing a job, is death and uncertainty of tomorrow. But Mary Magdalene teaches us today that there is another anxiety – of hope, joy, the waiting of something new. We are invited to pray today that the anxiety of darkness and death can become the anxiety of hope, life and that moment of the Lord’s Resurrection.
- ‘The stone removed…’
The stone is the symbol of death, confinement and isolation. Jesus not only removed the stone but is alive. Today we are invited to meditate on which stones are still in our hearts and in our families that need to be removed so that light can enter.
Mary Magdalene and the women did not know what was going on. The only thing they knew was that the stone was removed and Jesus was not there. They ran to the disciples in that moment of mixed feelings. In their hearts they knew that Jesus was alive but with that anxiety they were confused. Many times we have mixed feelings in our hearts and confusion that comes with our faith. Let us accept it, live it and let this confusion not take over but run.
Mary Magdalene ran to the disciples and the disciples ran to the tomb. In Mexico there is a beautiful tradition where they run up and down through the village with an image of Mary Magdalene, to physically express that running. Why do we need to run? We need to run because life is short and because this message needs to reach others. We need to run today to tell others that Jesus is alive in our hearts and communities.
- ‘The disciple arrived at the tomb and looked inside’
The disciple bent down and looked inside the tomb. When the Magi and the Shepherds arrived at the Nativity they prostrated and humbled themselves. We, in front of this Mystery and grace, need to bow down in homage, prostration and admiration.
- ‘The young disciple that was running faster than Peter arrived at the tomb and stopped at the entrance’ He didn’t want to take over from Peter but stopped and waited. The Resurrection of the Lord reminds us that sometimes we need to wait – for the elders and for God’s time.
- ‘The disciples saw and believed’
The disciples already believed in their hearts. We are invited to believe to see – not like Thomas – if I don’t see then I don’t believe.
Today as we celebrate this Easter, we are invited to be like Peter in the First Reading, the resurrected Peter, the magnificat of Peter that is able to proclaim the wonders of the Lord. All of us are invited to proclaim all the wonders and beautiful things the Lord has done in us. Which are the flowers and graces that we want to present, what is the gratitude we want to give to the Lord as a symbol and sign of new life? Today is not only a celebration of external enthusiasm but internal renovation and renewal of our faith because Jesus has conquered death. This is an opportunity to grow and walk in the Light. Amen.