Easter Sunday 17/04/2022 Year C, Jn 20, 1-9
Happy Easter! Today’s the church proclaims throughout the world “Jesus Christ is risen, Alleluia”
However, we have heard today’s Gospel. The story is not that happy. On the morning of the first day, Mary Magdala went to the tomb. How shocked she must be to see the stone moved away, and the body was not there. “Someone has taken it!” she said. Hearing that Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb. They also saw an empty tomb with clothes on the ground, headcloth rolled up in a place itself. The scripture said, the other disciples also came in. He sees it and he believes.
The scripture says. Three of them see the empty tomb. But they have a different interpretation of the empty tomb. It also happens for all of us. We will remember and not tell exactly the same. Even though, the main event is there. In the dictionary, the word “to see” means: to be aware of what is around you by using your eyes, look at something; to understand, know, or be aware; to meet, visit, or spend time with someone. There are three degrees of seeing something. See something happen; understand and the third one is in a relationship with someone; seeing someone is talking with him, spending time with him/her…We do not only see by the eyes but the whole body gets involved: seeing touching, feeling, emotion, experience….We recognize someone by seeing them, by their voice, by touching, smelling…Closing all these senses, How is it possible? It is the feeling of trust. As Christian, the relationship with God, we call faith. As Saint Paul said to the Hebrews “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
We have heard in the Gospel “The other disciples, who reach the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed”. This beloved disciple saw and believed. He saw the same thing: an empty tomb. However, what makes him believe is Jesus’ preaching and the Scripture about his death and resurrection. He made for his soul a privileged place of God’s words in a good relationship with Jesus himself.
All the evidence tells us that Jesus is dead. It is the end of everything. The tomb is empty. How can we proclaim and say "Alleluia"? We should have the sight of the beloved disciple, make space for God in our house, developing a relationship with Jesus so that we can see another reality with faith. This reality is that Christ is risen from the dead because “If Jesus has not been raised, says St. Paul, our preaching is empty, our belief comes to nothing. And we become false witnesses of God, attesting that he raised Christ…and he who believes in him would be a fool, the most unfortunate of all men”. (1Corinthians 15, 14-19)
That is the reason why the Church celebrates today and invites us to proclaim to the whole world, what we have seen, what we have experienced with Jesus as Peter did, by telling Cornelius his personal story with Jesus Christ who lived with him, died on a cross, risen from the dead. He had with him a unique experience: saw him, ate with him after his resurrection. That is what we need. We received this faith from the Apostles those who bore witness to what they saw and lived by their life; martyr and witness is the same word. In our turn, by having a personal or common experience with Risen Lord, then go and tell others of that experience.
Our faith is challenged by what we have seen and experienced. Pray, brothers and sisters, May God open our eyes, fill us with love and his words so that we can look for the things that are in heaven not on the thing that is on earth we can say “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”.