Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 17 April 2022
Acts. 10:34a,37-43; Ps. 118:1-2,16ab-17,22-23; Col. 3:1-4 or 1Cor. 5:6b-8; John 20:1-9
Let’s focus on three verbs only: run, see and believe. These three verbs relate to three “main witnesses” of the Resurrection: two men, and one woman. Two witnesses are valid, three will make it more valid. Three of them ran and saw, but in this story, only one believed. Three of them displayed the human reaction, in the past and present, before the empty tomb.
First, run. The experience of Easter, no matter how shallow and short time, it has aroused the enthusiasm of proclamation. Look at Mary of Magdala. Just looking at the removed tomb’s stone, she ran away. Not running to hide, but instead to tell Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. Unfortunately, her message was filled too much filled by her emotion: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb”. She still considered Jesus as a corpse that could be taken and removed by humans. Mary of Magdala’s first reaction displayed a human faithless response to the resurrection: Jesus’ body was stolen and moved from the tomb. That was also the reaction and propaganda of the Jewish chief priests from the beginning (cf. Mat. 28:11-15), as well as the thinking of some people until now. Two men ran together as well to the empty tomb. Peter ran less fast than the other disciple, maybe due to Peter’s older age. Anyway, in general, he who loves will be more enthusiastic in seeking the Beloved.
Second, see. Mary of Magdala only saw from outside that the stone was removed from the tomb (v. 1). She right away thought: Jesus’ body was taken away. In having faith, we shouldn’t stop at the external and the outer part only. Having faith should go beyond what is seen. The two disciples also saw. The disciple whom Jesus loved, first stopped in front of the tomb. More than what Mary of Magdala did, he saw deeper inside, into the tomb. He saw the burial clothes: just a corpse’s apparel, the body was not there. To believe in the resurrection is not just about looking at the tombstone. We must see inside the tomb: contemplating the mystery of death. There will be seen the burial clothes without the body, this is the initial sign that He who died was not there anymore. Unlike the disciple whom Jesus loved, Peter went into the tomb. He saw more: the cloth that covered His head and the burial clothes were rolled up. Peter displayed the teaching of the witnesses in the early church: the Lord’s resurrection is real. His body was not stolen. The thief would not waste time rolling up the burial clothes, taking off the clothes, and taking the stripped body away!
Third, believe. Despite three of them ran and saw, only one believed, he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. For him, the left cloth was a sign that the Beloved had risen. This disciple is an example of faith. He displayed the right step in believing: enthusiastically run in seeking the “lost” Beloved, stop at the tomb: reflect and try to see deeper, then get in to see and believe. His loving relationship with the Lord made him run faster, know when to stop to explore the deeper meaning, and eventually believe and have faith (cf. 21:7).
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
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 salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For Universal Churches: Health workers
We pray for the health workers who take care of the sick and elder, especially those in poor countries; may they have sufficient support from the government and local community.
For Indonesian Churches intention: Behave towards consumerism
We pray that we can stay modest and be not tempted to possess the unnecessary things in the midst of the wave of consumerism that dictates the world.