March 30, 2013

Easter Sunday - C

John 20: 1-9

Signs of God’s Action

Mary “came to the tomb … while it was still dark.”  

This darkness of nature points to the darkness of Mary’s faith. [1]   The passive use of the verb in the phrase “the stone removed from the tomb” indicates the action of God. [2] But Mary fails to recognize that something extraordinary has taken place.  All she can see is that “they have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  

She even includes others in her darkness, thus “we don’t know” while she has been the only person who has seen the stone removed and the empty tomb.

When Peter arrives, he sees stone removed.  Moreover, inside, he sees the different the burial cloths and the cloth used for Jesus’ face “rolled up in a separate place.”  Again, the verb is intentionally put in the passive voice.  Yet, there is no indication whether Peter believes or not. [3]

On the contrary, “the other disciple” comes to believe when he sees the action of God in the stone being removed and the burial cloths folded.  

Faith helps us to see the hand of God in the Resurrection of Christ, and the events of our lives.  

In addition, we have the guidance of “the Scripture,” which Mary, Peter, and the other disciple did not have. [4]  

Scripture, inspired and given by the Holy Spirit, read with faith, shows us the hand of God in events of our lives and human history.  That is the privilege we now enjoy, which Mary, Peter, and the other disciple did not.     

[1], [2] and [4]  Francis J. Moloney, SDB., The Gospel of John.  Sacra Pagina Series, Collegeville, MN. Liturgical Press, 1998; p. 518.

[3] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of the Lord, Reflections on the Gospel Readings Year C. Collegeville, MN. Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 96.

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