All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Running back to the tomb

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Once again, it’s Easter! So much has transpired over the weeks and I have just a little time to jot some quick thoughts down.

My emotions are running high for Easter and for stress of moving. But at Mass today, the priest once again gave an excellent homily, nicely tailored to both “regulars” and visitors, believer and non-believers.

The Gospel for this Easter comes from John 20:1-10

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.Then the disciples returned home.

It is the irony that Mary of Magdala is right there at the tomb and does not believe. So, like everyone who does believe, she doubts, assumes the worst and runs to tell the others. She runs away from the place where God’s work is churning.

She assumes that others will have the answer or will share in her grief. Just as we all do. Many of us, including myself, are exposed to faith, belief, at an early age. But at the first trying time in our life, we blame God and discern that we won’t believe after all. We run away from the tomb. We seek the help of others (money, people, fame, sex, science, nature or whatever the fad is of the current day and age). Whatever will relieve our grievance.

But as a group, they all eventually head back to the tomb, to see for themselves. Just as many of us, finding doubt in what once consoled us in place of God, just to “see” once more. And there, back at the tomb, we find we cling to our doubts just a little longer. Some find it sooner, without seeing, represented by the Beloved Disciple, who is not named, who doesn’t even enter the tomb, but believes in the words of his departed teacher immediately. Then there is Simon Peter, leader of the new Church, who picks up the burial cloths and still doesn’t believe.  No, he will have to see. And soon enough he will.

Even Mary of Magdala still weeps. In the next verses (saved for later), we find that the angels ask her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” And again, she grieves that her teacher’s body has been taken. But then, Christ appears to her, in disguise, as is often his way, and she still doesn’t believe. It isn’t until he calls her by name that she recognizes him. And then, she is so reluctant to let go of him, he has to tell her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”  (John 20:17).

Can’t wait for Pentecost! Happy Easter everyone!

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Written by Written Straw

April 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

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