The great gift of Easter is hope - Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake. - Basil C. Hume
(Gospel Text 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
Happy Easter! The stone is rolled away! The tomb is empty! "Jesus Christ is risen. Sound the trumpet of salvation" (the Exultet).
The Gospel says that «finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed» (Jn 20:8). While John was waiting at Jesus' tomb for Peter to arrive, the Bible says he "bent down to peer in" (Jn 20:5). This is not a trivial detail; it indicates the spiritual posture of those who believe in the risen Jesus. If we are truly to believe in Him, we must bend down, humble ourselves, and embrace the feet of the risen Jesus (Mt 28:9; see also Jn 20:17). Only those who humble themselves will be exalted by faith in the risen Christ (see Mt 23:12; Phil 2:8-9). No one goes up with the risen Lord except the one who has gone down and "bent down" in humility (see Jn 3:13).
It can be intimidating to walk in and encounter the reality of the risen Christ in an empty tomb, or a homeless shelter. If nothing else, it goes against everything we have been taught. But the fact is that Jesus has risen and walks in our midst, and fear, anxiety, jealousy, and material desire will only make us cling to the safety of the things we know.
In order to live, to truly live, we have to be willing to encounter the living, loving God in every place and be prepared to be surprised by what God leads to.