Unexpected and Glorious Outcome

by | Mar 27, 2018 | Formation, Reflections

God does not leave Jesus among the dead.  Nor does he let the one faithful to him till death know decay.  This is wonderful in our eyes, unexpected.

Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb and runs into something unexpected.  That is because she sees the tomb open.  This—says Mark—is what Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome least expect to see.  Passionate, excited, that they can now anoint Jesus, they wonder who will roll back the stone from the tomb’s entrance.

On noticing the unexpected, Mary Magdalene—to return to John—runs to Peter and the other disciple.  She breaks to them the unexpected, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb.”

The disciples, in turn, run toward the tomb.  The other disciple arrives first.  But he only bends down and sees the burial clothes there.  He defers to Peter.  He does not go in until after Peter has gone in.

So, Peter goes in and sees the burial clothes also.  But he sees, moreover, the cloth for Jesus’ head.  It is not with the burial clothes, however.  Rather, it is rolled up in a separate place.

Without any doubt, Peter finds it unexpected also that the tomb is empty.  But what interests him at the moment is to verify Mary Magdalene’s claim.  And he seemingly concludes that Mary Magdalene is off the mark.  The tomb is empty, yes, but there is no evidence of anyone taking the corpse away.  And that is all for Peter.

But the other disciple does not stop there.  He sees as Peter.  But he believes besides, and so gets to understand what should not have been unexpected.  After all, Scripture foretells it:  Christ will not know decay.

So, the unexpected opens the eyes of the other disciple.  He is nameless.  And rightly so.  He is simply the beloved disciple.  That is to say, the model of a true believer.  He is what we Christians should be.

Lord Jesus, give us the grace to be among those who truly believe.  Make us go to Galilee.  Grant that we see you there in the poor, “in their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness, and their misfortune.”  Like you, may we go about doing good, so that one day we hear you tell each one of us, “Come share your Master’s joy, kingdom, banquet.”  In that way the unexpected will become a pleasant surprise for us:  “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Likewise, when you, our life, appear, we will also appear with you in glory.

1 April 2018
Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord (B)
Acts 10, 34a. 37-43; Col 3, 1-4; Jn 20, 1-9/Mk 16, 1-7

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