Seeing with the eyes of St. John
Reflections on the readings for Easter Sunday-Mass of Easter Day (April 4, 2021): ACTS 10:34,37-43; PS 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; COL 3:1-4; JN 20:1-9
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We treasure the precious gifts of the Sacraments and the New Testament. Many people other than Christians recognize the wisdom and beauty of Jesus’ message. But unless a person believes that...
On this Easter morning, the first reading of the day tells us how St. Peter preached the mission of Christ in the early years of the Church – and it’s wondrous consequences. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good…for God was with Him.… They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day.… He commissioned us to preach to the people.… Everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:38-40, 42-43). Peter also wanted his listeners to know that he was himself a witness to Jesus, not only His ministry, but also His resurrection from the dead. In the Gospel, we see Mary Magdalene finding Jesus’ empty tomb and running to let Peter and John know. She does not yet understand what this means. And when Peter and John get to the tomb, Peter does not seem to grasp the truth either. Only John, the beloved Apostle, is able to immediately comprehend that what Jesus told them about dying and rising again in three days has actually happened.
It would take a personal encounter with the Risen Christ for most of His Apostles and disciples to embrace this truth. Today His followers look back on all that has happened through 20 centuries of Church history, rejoicing in our faith and hope in Jesus, Savior of the world. We treasure the precious gifts of the Sacraments and the New Testament. Many people other than Christians recognize the wisdom and beauty of Jesus’ message. But unless a person believes that Jesus of Nazareth was both human and divine, the Son of Mary and the Son of God, and that He died on a cross, was buried, and rose up in glory, it is more philosophy than religion. If we do not accept that the life and love of Christ set us free from death and evil, we cannot really walk in His footsteps. Only when we choose to be people of faith can we see with the eyes of St. John as he looked into that empty tomb.