Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord

John 20:1-9

Feast Day Reflection by Sister M. Tecla S. Gaia

Published: April 05, 2015

Grace: To be glad and rejoice intensely because of how the Risen Lord transforms our life.


Today's Gospel tells the story of Mary Magdalene who is the first person to meet the Risen Lord. She loved Jesus deeply because he transformed her life and she became his disciple. At the foot of the cross, she witnessed the death of Jesus. Outside of the tomb of the garden, she was the first to contemplate Christ after the Resurrection. It was forbidden to go to the tombs on Saturday, the Sabbath day. So, Mary went to the tomb early on Sunday morning because she wanted to go there as soon as she could. She went when it was still dark because she could not stay away any longer.

When Mary told the disciples about the empty tomb, Peter and John ran to the tomb. John, being the younger man, arrived before Peter. When he got to the tomb, he looked inside, but did not enter. Upon arriving, Peter entered and was surprised at the empty tomb. John was struck by the sight of the linen clothes, lying folded in the tomb, not removed, but as if Jesus had simply discarded the wrappings. Right away, John saw and believed in the Resurrection.

Filled with so much love for Jesus, Mary was the first at the tomb. Even when her tears did not allow her to recognize him, the Lord’s voice, pronouncing her name, enabled Mary to recognize her Jesus. John, the beloved disciple, was the first man to understand and believe in the Resurrection. He was able, through the eyes of love, to understand the signs and to believe.

When we encounter love, it opens our hearts and gives understanding to our minds. Often, we reflect on words from Corinthians 13: "Love is patient, love is kind ..." When we read St. Paul, we understand the meaning: "Love bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, endures all things." Love stretches us and comes to our aid. When we lack the patience and creativity to give of ourselves with deep affection, love sustains us. Knowing that we are loved by God gives us strength, and it is our loving God who offers us courage too.

When we meet Jesus, we are changed; we are obliged to care for others. Christ invites us to go into the world and preach the Gospel to all nations. This is what the Risen Lord says to Mary: Go and tell the good news to the rest of the disciples. Christ’s love for us strengthens our hearts to announce the good news. He calls us to go into the world to serve his Church and to care for our broken world. There is no love like the love of the Word of God who encourages us to serve our brothers and sisters and to work together for healing the wounds of injustices and inequality in our world.

Questions to help us in our personal reflection:

1) What struck you in this text that describes the first experience of the Resurrection?

2) The beloved disciple went in, saw and believed. What did he see and what led him to believe? Why is it that the text tells us only the reaction of the beloved disciple and not that of Peter?

3) What changes take place in Mary Magdalene during the dialogue? How did this change happen?

4) What mission or command does Jesus give Mary Magdalene?

5) Mary Magdalene was seeking Jesus in one way and meets him in another. How does this occur in our lives?

6) To see and believe. The beloved disciple saw and believed. What is it that LEADS me to believe that Jesus is alive, that he is present in our midst, today, giving new life to the poor?

7) Have you gone through an experience of loss or death? What gave you new life or hope and the joy of life?.



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