April 5, 2015

The Gospel Today

The Resurrection of the Lord 
The Mass of Easter Day

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.

Reflection (Sem. Jonathan T. Cigaral):

Sometimes we fail to see the brightness of what is ahead of us because we dwell so much on the darkness of our emptiness.  When we are confronted with problems, at times we pay too much attention on the pain and loneliness thereby making us blind to see the love that is around us.

In our Gospel, Mary Magdala and the other disciples found nothing in the tomb where Jesus was buried.  They were all so confused for finding an empty tomb “for they did not yet understand the Scripture that He had to rise from the dead.”

Mary Magdala and the rest of the disciples focused on the empty tomb that was the reason why they did not understand first.  Not finding the body of Jesus was a clear indication that He had reason from the dead but they failed to realize that.  All of them were just looking at the empty tomb and the burial clothes.

The empty tomb can be likened to the desolation one feels when he or she is confronted by a tragedy in life.  The death of a person can cause so much desolation to a family especially if the person who died was loved so much.

The death of my father caused so much sorrow to my mother.  I saw how my mother grieved because of the loss of someone who was with her all her life.  The grieving was difficult with her because everything reminded her of my father: our home, all of us in the family, the places that she goes to, and the people that she knows, even the food that she eats reminded her of my father.  There was even a time when she told me “hindi ko na kaya.”  She was so engulfed by loneliness and that her world seemed to be so dark and empty. 

Helping my mother go through the grieving process was difficult because all of us, including my siblings and I were going through the same situation as well.  We were all going through the pain and loneliness brought about by the death of my father.  But we had to do the things that we knew to help our mother – to refocus her to something that is beautiful.

Grieving is normal.  Letting go is not easy after the death of a loved one.  This is a fact that we needed to accept in our family.  However, there is always light shining behind the dark clouds which surround us during our moments of desolation.  My mother, like Mary Magdala, needed to see beyond the empty tomb.  My mother, as well all of us her children, needed to gaze in a different angle where joy abounds.  We may have lost our father but the love in our family flourishes and that is a blessing from God.  Death should not conquer love but it should be the other way around.  Because Jesus Christ is love and His death conquered death.


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