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.
A reflection by Ms. Julia Young
“We are an Easter people,” Saint John Paul II once stated. Today, we begin our Easter celebration. After 40 days of prayer, reflection, and sacrifice, we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. We renew our baptismal promises and renew our energy to live our faith with zeal and joy.
Thus, today’s readings inspire us to be witnesses of faith. In the First Reading, Peter reiterates the importance of the Apostles’ witness to the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as well as their mission to “preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God [… and] that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” As witnesses and close friends of Jesus, the Apostles were given a special mission, a vocation, to share the Gospel message. While we were not among the Apostles, we too have a call to share Jesus’ message by living our faith, particularly through service and community.
Next, the Gospel of John shares another story of witness and belief. Mary of Magdala saw that “the stone [was] removed from the tomb” so she ran to tell Peter and John, “the other disciples.” They raced to the tomb and saw that the burial clothes were moved and that Jesus was not there. They saw, and they believed. This Gospel reading is one of my favorites because of the way in which John shares the story. He removes himself as a main character, instead referring to himself as “the other disciple whom Jesus loved.” By removing his name, John demonstrates humility; the story is not about his arrival to the tomb, but about what he and Peter saw there. John offers a more objective perspective so that more people may believe. He allows us to imagine being “the other disciple,” to see what he saw, to believe.
As an Easter people, we have the mission, the vocation, to be a disciple of Christ, to serve as a witness to the Gospel, to live our renewed baptismal promises. “Halleluiah is our song!”