Gospel for Sunday, April 17: John 20: 1-9
Easter of the Resurrection of the Lord
1On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb in the morning, when it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2He then ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them: “They have taken the Lord away from the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3Peter then went out together with the other disciple and they went to the tomb. 4They both ran together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down, saw the sheets laid there, but did not enter. 6Meanwhile, Simon Peter also arrived, following him, and entered the tomb and observed the cloths placed there, 7and the shroud – which had been on his head – not placed there with the cloths, but wrapped in a separate place. 8Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in and saw and believed. 9In fact they had not yet understood the Scripture, that he had to rise from the dead.
John 20: 1-9
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (www.buonabibbiaatutti.it).
Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.
Paul states: “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is… vain” (1 Cor 15): the testimony of the Risen Jesus is the aim of the preaching of the entire early Church (Acts 1.22; 4.33; 10.40-41…). Cardinal Martini wrote: “There has never existed a primitive Christianity that stated as its first message: «Let us love one another», «We are brothers», «God is the Father of all», etc. It is from the message: «Jesus he is truly risen!” that all the others derive from.”
For those who already believe in God on a philosophical path, the resurrection of Jesus will represent the confirmation that he is truly the Son of God (school of Alexandria in Egypt, from the end of the 2nd century); for others, the experience of a man who, by resurrecting, conquers death, and therefore proves to be stronger than nature, therefore supernatural, and therefore God, will be the way to come to believe in the existence of God, as well as in divinity of Jesus Christ (“historical path” of the school of Antioch of Syria, from the 3rd century).
All people of all times are called to confront the testimony of the Apostles. Christians are those who consider them credible and truthful because simple and concrete men, serene and balanced people, who are not ashamed to say that they themselves were the first to doubt, they have gained nothing from their testimony, many have seen and in different circumstances, transformed by the encounter with the Risen One from fearful ambushes to courageous heralds, who do not bother to resolve the numerous discrepancies in the Gospels (as someone who wants to invent a similar story would do), people who paid for their affirmation with their lives : furthermore, according to the adversaries themselves, the tomb was empty (Mt 28,11-15).
The Resurrection of Jesus is the fundamental event of history: in it evil, pain, death were annihilated (Rev 21,1-6; 1 Cor 15; Col 1,18): our fears, our anxieties , our sufferings are overcome forever. But above all we have become “participants of the divine nature” (2 Pt 1.4), receiving “adoption as sons” (Gal 4.5), made ourselves children of God in the Son of God! An endless celebration explodes in the depths of our hearts (Jn 16,22.24). And we can sing, drunk with joy, the Orthodox liturgical hymn of Easter Night:
“O mystical dance! O feast of the Spirit!
O divine Easter that descends from heaven to earth
and from the earth rises again to heaven!
O new and universal celebration,
For all joy, honor, food, delight:
through you the darkness of death has been dispelled,
life is extended to all,
the gates of heaven have been opened wide.
God showed himself to be man
and man was made God.
Enter all into the joy of our Lord;
first and last, receive your reward;
rich and poor, dance together;
temperate and carefree, honor this day:
whether you have fasted or not,
Let no one mourn his misery:
the Kingdom is open to all!”.
Happy Mercy to all!
Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.