Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
The Disciples at the Tomb (Jn 20:1-18)
Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ.
Picture the disciples at the empty tomb.
Before the gospel writers describe the Easter visions, they speak of the empty tomb and of the disciples’ reactions. In this text, Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved Disciple all have different responses. Peter sees but the Beloved Disciple believes.
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 first to the tomb, 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.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The Beloved Disciple himself wrote this account. All of the many details (the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first), are his first hand memories.
- These three disciples respond. Magdalen comes while it is “still dark.” Peter and the beloved disciple run to the tomb.
- Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen.
- Magdalen thinks someone stole the body. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciples believes but does not understand the full story.
- This is God’s first stirring in their hearts. At least, they are searching (even running).
- The two disciples return home but they are prepared for the visions.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses.
- O Jesus, my faith in your resurrection is based on their testimony.
- All this evidence helps my faith. The stone is rolled away. Your body is not there. The linens are in various places.
- I will run. I will hurry quickly. I must find you.
- Help me to believe.
- O Jesus, I don’t want a world that is empty of your presence.
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 the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
The Beloved Disciple saw and believed.