The Gospel Today
The Resurrection of the Lord
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.
Reflection (Sem. Ernie Sican):
Today’s Gospel gives witness to the resurrection of Jesus by describing to us the empty tomb. The empty tomb signifies that Jesus is not there. For the Jews, the body of Jesus must have been stolen by his supporters. For his disciples, Jesus resurrected from the dead. For us who believe in Christian faith, Jesus has truly risen from the dead.
It is not only the empty tomb that proves the resurrection of Jesus. The eye witness of Mary of Magdala and the other women, the appearance to Peter and the Disciples also support the claim. In fact, there were many post-resurrection instances that Jesus showed his resurrected body like when he suddenly appeared to the disciples in the upper room even when it was locked, when he ate with the disciple in the sea of Galilee, when he appeared to the two on the road to Emmaus. So the resurrection of Jesus cannot be doubted in terms of scriptural accounts.
The problem is not so much about the evidence to Jesus’s resurrection but to our inability to accept the truth, to believe to what the scriptures tell us. As it is said, for one who does not want to believe, no amount of explanation can convince him, but for the one who believes, no explanation is needed.
In today’s world where relativism seems to prosper, it is difficult for the gospel message to take root in people’s lives. Relativism makes everything relative or subjective even the truths long held by the church. Relativism argues that all truths are equal and so there is no universal truth or objective truth. In that case, everybody is free to formulate his own truth and no one can question him because the individual determines the truth. Truth then becomes a matter of opinion. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI said that with relativism “The identification of one single historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth, with ‘reality’ itself, with the living God, was now rejected as a relapse into myth; Jesus was consciously relativized, reduced to one religious genius among others.” If relativism relativizes Jesus Christ, it follows that the teaching and preaching of the Church is also relative. If the Church’s message is relative, then who will take time to listen to it? Who will take the Church seriously?
It is important for us Christians to stand up and proclaim our faith in this relativistic and materialistic world. Relativism, materialism, postmodernism and other ways of thinking that try to downplay and put into question Christian religion will pass away like any other school of thought or doctrine that came ahead of them. However, our Christian belief will stand the test of time because God is alive. So let us remain steadfast and not weary even trying in times because God is with us till the end of time.