Gospel Reflection: Easter Sunday
Malvern Minute



MARCH 27, 2016

The Gospel of Saint John 20: 1-9

The Empty Tomb

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.  

The Gospel of the Lord



The story of the empty tomb can be found also in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  Saint John’s version would have been influenced by the previous Gospels.  However, Saint John does provide his unique perspective.  Unlike the Gospels that preceded him, John’s recording of this event takes place while it is still dark.  For John darkness is more indicative of incomplete faith or a lacking of faith, than it is an indication of the time of day!  Notice how this section ends: For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

All Gospels agree that Mary of Magdala was the first at the tomb and was the first evangelist of the message that Jesus was no longer a prisoner of darkness and the tomb of death!  Saint John says of himself that he saw and believed.   Yet, according to the Gospel a fuller understanding of the scriptures that Jesus had to rise from the dead was forthcoming.

How blessed we are to have the fullness of Sacred Scripture at our finger tips.  This Holy Week has provided us an exceptional opportunity to probe deeply, passage after passage of the Old Testament so that we can have a fuller understanding that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures and completed God’s desire to give salvation and the fullness of life and light to all who believe in Jesus!  (See reflections this past week on the Prophet Isaiah’s Suffering Servant Oracles).

Christ is the fullness of Life and Light!   When we embrace Jesus through Baptism and the Sacramental life of the Church, we become enlightened and we live in light.  Through His Son, God gifts us with faith.  Yet, we must nourish our faith by continual enlightenment that comes from encountering Jesus in Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist!  The following is from an ancient Easter homily.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!  And what is this day?  It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the author of light, who brings the sunrise and the beginning of life, saying of himself: I am the light of day;  whoever walks in daylight does not stumble.  That is to say, whoever follows Christ in all things will come by this path to the throne of eternal light.


Christ, our paschal lamb has been sacrificed:

          Let us then feast with joy in the Lord (Alleluia verse)



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com



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