Sunday, March 31, 2024
Jn 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.
(John 20:1-9)

One striking aspect while reading the account of Jesus’ resurrection, is that no one expected this event, not even those closest to Him! Mary Magdalene, before dawn, hurries to the tomb of her beloved Master to see Him again, in whatever condition He may be. When she arrives, she is surprised: the large stone is gone! She immediately runs to alert Peter and John, who also rush to the tomb. The beloved disciple runs faster, but upon arrival, he stops and waits for Peter to come. Only once Peter enters the tomb does John follow. The traditional interpretation that sees in the figure of John the charisma, and in that of Peter the institution, is beautiful. Charisma comes immediately, through intuition, inspiration, and enthusiasm, but then it stops to wait for the institution to arrive. Charisma and institution are two realities that form the mystical body; their collaboration and mutual acceptance are fundamental, creating unity, bringing harmony to the body, and making it grow.

What do the two disciples find in the tomb? The cloths that wrapped Jesus and the burial shroud are still there as they were placed, Jesus passed through them in the mysterious and unexpected moment of His resurrection. Christ is risen! He is not in the tomb; sin and death did not have the last word, but LIFE did. God made Jesus sin for our sake (cf. 2 Cor 5:21) and then raised Him. Jesus says to us, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now I am alive forever and ever” (cf. Rev 1:18).

Jesus is victorious and we, through faith and friendship with Him in prayer, we enter into this dimension of victory and resurrection for our lives. Jesus opens up to us the prospect of eternal life and life in abundance!

Fr. Giuseppe