EASTER SUNDAY – APRIL 4, 2021 – THE DISCIPLES AT THE TOMB (Jn 20:1-8) – This meditation combines readings for Easter for Cycles A, B & C

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ. 

Imagination:

Picture the disciples at the empty tomb. 

Context:

If Jesus has risen from the dead, then his tomb must be empty. All four gospels begin their Easter stories with visits to the empty tomb and with descriptions of the disciples’ reactions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have placed him.” 

Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, but was wrapped together in another place. 

Then, the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home, but Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The Beloved Disciple is the author of John’s gospel. All of the many details, (about the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first), are memories of his personal experiences. 
  2. Notice the readiness of these three disciples. Magdalene comes as early as possible, while Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb. 
  3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen. 
  4. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciple believes, but does not understand the full story. Magdalene is weeping. 
  5. This is God’s first stirring. The full gift will soon come. At least, they are searching. 
  6. The two disciples return home. Magdalene’s great love, however, takes her in a more important direction. She stays at the tomb. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses. My faith in your resurrection is based on their witness. 
  • All this evidence captures my intellect. The stone is rolled away. The body is not there. The linens are in various places. 
  • My heart is ready to believe. 
  • Let me run. Let me hurry quickly. I must find you. 
  • Give me the heart of Magdalene. I don’t want to return home to the empty world. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus. 

+ I will study the scriptures 

Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation.) 

Magdalene ran to the apostles. Peter and the Beloved Disciple ran to the tomb.