Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Easter Sunday

the empty-tomb.jpg


John 20: 1-9

"Till this moment they had failed to understand"

Mary of Magdala, Peter and John, saw the empty tomb and initially they were perplexed: what had happened to the body? The burial cloths were there, but of Jesus there was no sign. Had someone, as Magdalen suspected, "taken the Lord out of the tomb"? After the humiliation of a criminal's death, must he now suffer the further degradation of being snatched from his tomb? What on earth had happened? They were at a loss.

His life had been one of such promise. As we noted last week, throughout his life his every word and deed had been expressions of his mission to make known God's unconditional love for everyone. And it had been through the faithful pursuit of that mission that he had been brought, now, to this. But to what, exactly? As yet “they had failed to understand” the power and intent of God’s love. They had not yet grasped the deep truth that Love is stronger than death. Jesus had remained faithful to the love of his Father, and now the Father’s faithful love for Jesus has robbed death of its shallow victory.

The empty tomb is the sign, not of an end, but of a new beginning. Easter is about the same Jesus whose life was so firmly committed to the radical message of God's kingdom that he was put to death. And now that same Jesus is risen – alive, amongst us still, even today. The same Jesus, who put the demands of love before the expectations of the prevailing culture, customs, conventions and prejudices of his day, is here, now, with us - nay, within us! And this same Jesus, died and risen, seeks still to follow the demands of love in today’s world in and through us his members. We are his eyes and ears, his hands and feet, called to continue his same mission of love in our day.



For another reflection on the resurrection of Jesus click 

They discussed what rising from the dead could mean


For a reflection based on an artist's presentation of the death and resurrection of Jesus click 

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus by Matthias Grunewald