“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

For Easter we turn back to John (20:1-9) for his (first person) rendition of the events surrounding the Resurrection.  The episode begins with Mary Magdalene finding the tomb empty and quickly going to Peter and the author of the gospel, telling them the line at the top of this post.  The two men then quickly head for the tomb, John arriving first but deferring to Peter to be the first to enter.  Both see the wrappings in which Jesus was buried.  When John enters he sees and believes (v. 8) as he now begins to understand what Jesus meant about His rising from the dead.  Mary’s declaration, at first glance, does not seem to comport with Mark’s rendition of the events in the immediate aftermath of the Resurrection (see yesterday’s post).  Mark tells us that Mary and two other women saw a man in the tomb who gave them instructions on what to say to Peter.  But recall that the women were frightened and may well not have believed what they saw in the man or, if they believed in him, they may not have believed what he said.  Or they were unsure of themselves or reluctant to tell others of it.  This makes Mary’s words at top more understandable: one thing she can say for sure is that the tomb is empty.  Why share other dubious details that may call her story into question (cf. Lk 24:10-11, Mk 16:11)?  Whatever the case may be, we know for sure where we can find the Lord.  His real presence can be found in every Catholic church in the Eucharist.  Visit Him often.  He also appears at every Mass in Word and Sacrament — partake weekly and more often if at all possible (of course reading the Bible should be a daily encounter with the Lord for us).  He also comes to us in every person we meet, especially the poor, the sick, the stranger, the downtrodden, and the criminal or other “undesirable.”  How do we treat these “least” (Mt 25:31-46)?  Finally, He should be seen in us in every person we encounter.  We know that Jesus rose from the dead as He promised He would; our faith is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor 15:14).  Now let us share that Resurrection faith with joy and without reserve.

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