Gospel Reflection Apr 12 – Deacon Frank
Sunday, April 12
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
John 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.
Witnesses in a courtroom are always admonished to tell what they know in precise and unembroidered terms: “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Telling the truth in these terms is harder than it looks at first glance. Tell, for example, the truth about yourself, in 100 words or less. Without undue explanation, excuses, deletions, and rationalizations, that is. We discover at once that we are not very practiced at this mode of truth.
Not long after the Resurrection, as we will hear in the 1st reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter stands before a gathering of Gentiles and tells them the gospel truth as he has come to believe it. This is 40 years before the first gospel will be written, 20 years before one word of the New Testament is set down. Peter tells a story that exists only in the memory of those who lived it. He doesn’t waste time narrating how he got involved in this story or mention the towns Jesus passed through during the years of his ministry.
Peter seems so wise and collected in his encounter with Cornelius and his household. But we must keep in mind that other Peter that we will hear about this Sunday in the John’s Gospel, running in the predawn of Easter morning along with the beloved disciple. The Peter of Easter morning doesn’t know what to believe, or what to think. He has just heard terrible news, that the tomb of Jesus is empty, and the body gone – or – maybe it’s wonderful news. Terrible or wonderful . . . he doesn’t know how to interpret these unexpected facts. He hopes that seeing for himself will produce believing and clarity.
And so, there he stands at the scene of unvarnished truth. It’s an open, empty tomb, all right. Nothing but the burial cloths and a neat placement of the face covering. No body, no real clue as to what could have happened. Sometimes the truth is too simple, and too hopeful, to be believed all at once.
Easter Sunday is the celebration of the great, simple, gospel truth at the center of our faith. We can express it in one marvelously short sentence: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! When it comes to the “mystery of faith,” perhaps long catechisms and creedal professions only conceal what is finally a very simple thing. We have nothing to fear, not even suffering and death.
Jesus is here and invites us to share his life without end.
-Deacon Frank Iannarino
OPERATION RICE BOWL: How to Donate This Year
Thank you for your participation in CRS Rice Bowl.
Our St. Brigid of Kildare community does something amazing each Lent. We come together to practice prayer, fasting and almsgiving—and by doing so we help lift families and communities out of poverty.
We must always remember that as Holy Week gives way to Easter; the fast turns into a feast. God wins the day. As we celebrate Easter joy, it is our responsibility as members of God’s one human family to share that joy with everyone, near and far.
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