Apr 12 2020 Reflection
Sunday 12 April 2020
First Reading: ACTS 10:34A, 37-43
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
PS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: COL 3:1-4
Gospel Reading: JN 20:1-9
Today’s Note: Easter Sunday
The Resurrection of the Lord
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.
They did not yet understand. (John 20:9)
Happy Easter! Christ is risen! Sin is defeated, and death has lost its sting! The long years of waiting and hoping have finally come to an end.
You would think that the Gospel reading for today would reflect all the joy embedded in these truths. But that’s not what we hear. Rather, we hear a tale of panic, misunderstanding, and incomplete faith. Mary Magdalene thinks Jesus’ corpse has been stolen. Peter is stunned by the empty tomb. And John? He begins to believe, but he still leaves the scene unsatisfied. Where is the joy? What about the victory that Jesus has promised?
It’s on the threshold, just about to break through. One more thing still had to happen. The disciples still have to meet the risen Lord.
Over the next few days at Mass, we’ll see Mary Magdalene, the apostles, the Emmaus disciples, and Peter all have personal encounters with Jesus. And when they do—that’s when the joy comes in.
Today at Mass, we will sing “Alleluia” before the Gospel reading. And we will hear how “on this day . . . above all” it is right and just to praise Jesus “more gloriously” than at any other time of the year (Preface I of Easter). But don’t limit your rejoicing based on your having heard the good news proclaimed in the Gospel. Instead, imagine how great, how deep, and how glorious your rejoicing will be as you come to meet the risen Lord in Holy Communion. Imagine what will happen as you come seeking a personal encounter with him, an encounter with his love and grace.
Christ is risen—for you. He has overcome sin—for you. He has opened heaven—for you. Take hold of these gifts by taking hold of Jesus. Then watch as your heart is filled with joy.
“Lord, I don’t want to be satisfied with just hearing about you. On this day above all others, let me meet you.”