Saturday, 11 April 2009
Easter Sunday: Gospel of John 20:1-9
However, let us look at the Gospels what the resurrection meant to the disciples of Jesus. Easter can be quite dramatic as an experience on itself, but also quite an anti climax after the whole buildup towards it. This shouldn't be the way, as we are on a continual journey. So how did the disciples of Jesus experience the Resurrection? The disciples did not really understand what Jesus was talking about all the time before now, or how to understand it:
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise." But they understood none of these things; this saying was hid from them, and they did not grasp what was said. (Lk 18:31-34)
What does it means to rise from the death, only now it slowly became clear as the tomb that all is not over as they find the tomb empty, be it is very slowly. There was no sign of a body and only the cloths were there. We read that "the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed" (Joh 20:8 RSV). This was the same disciple "whom Jesus loved [who] said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" (Joh 21:7 RSV)" later on, but on the grand scaler of things the others seem a bit slower. Everything is still quite on a low key, as still "they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead". (Joh 20:9 RSV) and they "went back to their homes" (Joh 20:10 RSV).
In the hours and days to come, slowly more and more will become clear, with Mary Magdalen meeting the Lord after the disciples have gone from the tomb (Joh 20:11-18), the event of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35), the appearance of Jesus at the end of that first day to the disciples (Joh 20:19) etc.
In the time between Easter and Pentacost we are on a new journey, the disciples get themselves together again and started to belief and slowly understand what it meant that Jesus was risen from the death... they reflect and ponder the events and digest everything, but seem in a way to go on with their normal business: "Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." (Joh 21:3 RSV)", even though this was not the labor that they were destined to as "that night they caught nothing. (Joh 21:3 RSV). It is a time of growing, from Holy Saturday when Jesus is death towards the fullness of life in Christ. It is a time necessary to lead up to the sudden explosion of the message with the Holy Spirit coming on Pentecost...
So Today the Lord is Risen, let us rejoice! We sing Alleluia once more after the silence of the last forty days! We enjoy the celebration of the Resurrection!
Even though we might not grasp imediately what it means, let us rejoice now and after everything calms down once more we can take the time to reflect on the joy of the risen Lord brings to us by being part of our lives. In the coming forty days we can prepare ourselvs for Pentacost, that while we have these past events, like the appostles, digested and pondered in our hearts, we too will explode with zeal and love in our outreach to others as a result...
The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.