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The empty tomb

Gospel Reading: Jn 20:1a, 2-8
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene 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 do not 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.

HE SAW AND BELIEVED
In the gospel of John, what matters most is not seeing, hearing, or touching but believing. While it is important to verify what is reported as a matter of great interest, we need most of all the ability to believe. Faith is a gift from God. It goes beyond reason, but it is not irrational. It allows us to see more than what we perceive. In faith, we are able to get the spiritual meaning of events, though they may appear highly secular. Simon Peter validates the report that Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb. He sees that the tomb is not really empty because the cloth that covered Jesus’ head and the burial cloths are still there. When John, the other disciple, goes in and sees the same things, he proceeds to believe. Like John, in faith we accept that the absence of Jesus’ body in the tomb means that he rose from the dead. We do not subscribe to the unbeliever’s speculation that someone stole his body in the night, as Matthew reports the chief priests’ instructions to the soldiers to cover up their unbelief (cf Mt 28:13). They turn the religious event into a secular happening. They reinterpret it as a hoax. Therefore, no change or conversion happens to them.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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