Gospel - John 20:1-9 - 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.
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Written by Patrick Graff
Assistant Director, ACE Teaching Fellows
“Resurrection for us is a daily event. We have stood watch with persons dying in peace; we have witnessed wonderful reconciliations; we have known the forgiveness of those who misuse their neighbor; we have seen heartbreak and defeat lead to a transformed life; we have heard the conscience of an entire church stir; we have marveled at the insurrection of justice. We know that we walk by Easter’s first light, and it makes us long for its fullness.”
Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, #119
The darkness on that first Easter morning must have been suffocating. I picture an incredibly devoted and distraught Mary Magdalene hurrying through a garden cast in shadows. Upon her arrival at Christ’s tomb, she must have felt so many things we too have experienced in times of crisis: fear, regret, anxiety, sadness, loss.
In Mary’s subsequent chase to find her and Christ’s friends, what did it mean for them to return and find resurrection? How did it become possible for them to look into the face of a devastating event and instead come back to see a new light emanating from a place defined by suffering?
This Holy Week we celebrate Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. We celebrate a relentless sacrificial love that carried Jesus to the cross. We celebrate a love that conquers death and bathes the world in a hope that transcends our own horizon.
As Mary and her fellow disciples returned to the tomb in darkness, we know they were the first to peer in and slowly discover those original rays of resurrection. Their discovery remains our mission today. It is our daily task to walk by Easter’s light. It is our joy to patiently wait in the dark for a glimpse of a sunrise we know is just beyond our sight.
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
“… We must be people with hope to bring! There is no failure the Lord’s love cannot reverse, no humiliation He cannot exchange for blessing, no anger He cannot dissolve, no routine He cannot transfigure. All is swallowed up in victory. He has nothing but gifts to offer. It remains only for us to find how even the cross can be borne as a gift.”
Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, #118