Ponder, See and Believe!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Easter Sunday, 04 April 2021

Acts 10:34a,37-43; Ps. 118:1-2,16ab-17,22-23; Col. 3:1-4 atau 1Cor. 5:6b-8; John 20:1-9

Easter story is started by a great woman. Mary Magdalene is the first person to arrive at the tomb of Jesus. The first day is a sign of hope and a new beginning, like the day God created the universe. However, the “still dark” morning is also a symbol of the darkness of her heart. She sees the tomb of Jesus from outside. Her focus is on the grave and dead body. For her, Jesus has died and has become a corpse. Therefore, when she sees that the stone of the tomb has been moved, she concludes: Jesus’ body had been moved or stolen! What a shallow perspective, a hasty conclusion! Why? Because Mary is expecting to visit a dead body, not to meet the glorious Lord.

Peter and the Disciple whom Jesus loved run to the tomb. For some reason, Peter is overtaken in the race. Definitely, the one who loves more will arrive faster and finds the Beloved. Unlike Mary Magdalene who only sees from outside, the disciple loved by Jesus looks inside. But he doesn’t want to rush in. Before the mystery of the empty tomb and the linen cloth, he chooses to stop. Peter finally arrives and goes straight into the tomb. That’s very typical of Peter: fast in action, less in pondering! He sees the linen and burial cloth rolled up in a place. He is the witness that the body of Jesus could not been removed or stolen. The thief would not waste time to unwrap and fold the cloth before taking away the body of Jesus. There were some rumors and claims that Jesus’ body was stolen or moved by His own followers. Therefore, Peter’s testimony, the main “eye witness”, was very important to deny such a “black campaign”.

The disciple whom Jesus loved finally enters the tomb. After pondering outside the tomb, he is now ready to see and believe. It is clear that his faith is the climax of the story. His loving relationship with Jesus enables him to look deeper. He is able to “see through” and read the mystery. Every thing is a sign from the Beloved. The empty tomb and clothes are no longer the sign that Jesus’ body has been stolen, but it is a proof that the Beloved has risen.

Having faith in the risen Christ is difficult. It’s so easy for you and me to just stop at the liturgy: just following the ceremony and celebration!. In fact, the empty tomb challenges us to run together with the disciple whom Jesus loved, longing to seek Him. We are challenged to stop and ponder before the mystery of empty tomb. We are invited to see and believe that God is truly present in a new way to our lives, in all creatures, events and experiences. That is the “ideal” faith on Easter day. Thank God, the Disciple is never given a name, so you and I can continue striving to resemble him: the disciple whom Jesus loves. The question is: have I loved, seen and believed like him?

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Human Right: We pray for those who risk their life by fighting for human right under a dictatorial regime and authoritarianism, and even under critical democratic countries. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For health officials: May the medical officials and health researchers be blessed with the virture to be alert, ready and willing to help others, especially in health emergency situation. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
May we be full of blessings, like St. Joseph, to have faith in the Son who is sent to restore the Kingdom of God, to the day of His sufferring , death and resurrection beyond the comfort of the world. We pray…

Amen

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