Sunday, April 21, 2019
First reading: Ac. 10:34,37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said: “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Second reading: Col. 3:1-4
Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
Gospel: Jn. 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.
In other words Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD (Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City)
Mary of Magdala went to the place where Jesus was buried and found an empty tomb. She hurriedly went to inform the other disciples about the empty tomb. Peter and John sprinted towards the location of the tomb. Jesus’ body was not there. One of them saw an empty tomb and believed.
The disciples found an empty tomb at the lowest moment in their lives. They witnessed the death of their Master. To all appearances, the empty tomb is a paradox. But the empty tomb is a message of hope, for the Lord is risen from the dead.
There are many instances in our lives when we find an “empty tomb.” The Lord is seemingly nowhere to be found especially during those times when we need Him the most. In those moments when we find ourselves in an “empty tomb,” the response of John is an example to follow. We see in those moments that the Lord has always been there and just like the “other disciple,” we only have to believe. The lyrics of the song Footprints in the Sand put it quite well.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times I needed you most you would leave me.
“And the Lord replied, ‘My precious, precious child, I love you. And I would never, never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’”
Tags: Bible reflection, Witness to the Word