Reflections on the Gospel
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
“The Lord is truly risen, alleluia,” proclaims today’s entrance antiphon. All three readings speak to this foundational confession. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus and draws out its significance for us: “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).
Paul in his letter to the Colossians, also expresses the meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection for us. Since we have been raised with Christ, our focus should not be on things of this world, but we must “seek what is above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1).
One figure central to all of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection is Mary Magdalene. The early Christians called her “the apostle to the apostles.” She was the first to break the news to the disciples of the empty tomb and the first to witness the risen Lord.
In today’s reading from John’s Gospel, Mary, on discovering the tomb to be empty, tells this news to “Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 20:2).
The two run to the tomb. The Beloved Disciple arrives first but, out of deference, allows Peter to enter the tomb before him. Peter sees the burial clothes lying there. When the Beloved Disciple enters, the narrator deliberately comments that “he saw and believed” (20:8).
Until this time, they have failed to understand Jesus’ teaching that “he had to rise from the dead” (20:9).
The Beloved Disciple was the first to believe. Only through love does one come to grasp the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection and God’s love for us.