Easter Sunday – Sister Sandra Araujo Santos, SNDdeN

Apr 7, 2023 | Gospel Reflections

April 9, 2023 –

John 20: 1-9:

Reflecting on today’s Gospel, I thought of TIME. I see in the three persons (Magdalen, Peter and the other disciple), different stages in our human journey and in our journey of faith.

Mary Magdalen appears in this Gospel. She is an early-morning riser, one of those who is on her feet early, and because she is up and about early in the day, she perceives the most recent happenings. And immediately she announces to all: ”Something different happened here.” Even though it is not clear to her the meaning of what happened, she is attentive and perceives that something, some reality has changed.

The second person, Peter, in a hurry as usual, runs and is accompanied by the other disciple. According to the text, the other disciple, known as the one who Jesus loves, runs ahead and arrives first at the tomb and stops at the entrance. This person acts swiftly at first but on entering the tomb it is for him a more profound, more complicated experience that demands more, so then he stops and waits for a time.

Afterwards, Peter arrives having delayed a bit, maybe because he is older and couldn’t run as fast. In any case, his delay in arriving at the tomb gives him time to build up his courage and go in with out hesitancy. And that is what happens; he goes in and sees that it is just as they were told. And he sees also that Jesus is not there.

At the end of the text, there is a phrase that seems obvious, but this time it doesn’t appear so obvious. “After, the disciple also entered, the one that had arrived first at the tomb. He saw and he believed.”

Well actually, the one who arrived first at the tomb, according to the text, was Mary Magdalen. Wouldn’t she be the one who after seeing, announcing and waiting outside the tomb be the one to best understand what had truly happened? Wouldn’t she be the one that helped the other two disciples to remember, and finally perceive that Jesus had arisen?

I keep thinking about this Time thing. How each one of us journeys within our space in time, with our own rhythm. How these new times of journeying meet in certain moments so together we can recognize something new revealed to each of us.

It seems to me important to respect the time that each one needs to do one’s own processing; but it is also important to come together and share what we have found. This journeying together is the synodality that we have talked and reflected about so much during the past two years. Each of us experiences divine action in the manner and in the time that we can understand; but if there is no moment to unite and celebrate the experience revealed to each one, there will be something important lacking, so the journey will not be one of synodality. We will be saying that we believe the same thing, but each one will be in her own private space and not truly united.

We, Notre Dame, have recently had our Chapter, and we intend to journey, walk together sharing the experience revealed to each of us in the Chapter experience. But it is up to each us, and to all of us, to give our best so that in fact happens. Let it be! Let us walk together with the blessing of our ancestors, our foremothers.


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.

The Gospel of the Lord


Meet Sister Sandra Araujo Santos, SNDdeN

Sister Sandra Araújo dos Santos was born on March 23, 1977 in the State of Maranhão, Brazil. Her parents are farmers and for this reason, looking for land, they migrated to the State of Pará. In Maranhão, it is too hard to get land. In Anapu, Pará, Sandra got to know the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The first Notre Dame Sister that she met was Sr. Dorothy Stang. This happened as soon as her family arrived in Anapu. Then, as Sandra grew up, she participated in the events held by the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1995, she began to live with the Sisters and became a postulant in 1997. She made her perpetual Vows as an SND in January 2008. Now, Sr. Sandra lives in São Luis in an SND community with Sisters Anne Wihbey, Maria de Jesus Borges Costa and Maria Vagner Souza Silva. She dreams of a world where all God’s children will be able to live with dignity.