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The empty tomb

Gospel Reading: Jn 20:1a, 2-8

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.


He sa w and believed. We celebrate today the feast of St. John the Evangelist, the only apostle (aside from Judas Iscariot) who did not die a martyr.

John is widely believed to be the disciple whom Jesus loved in the gospel of John. He is also perhaps the other disciple who ran faster than Peter and arrived ahead of the latter at the tomb. He is depicted here as the first one to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Actually, there was not sufficient rigorous proof that Jesus had indeed risen. There was only the empty tomb, with the burial cloths and the cloth used in covering the head.

It is thus clear that his faith was a gift, and not the conclusion of a rigorous process of reasoning. John nurtured this gift with his great love of Jesus until his death. His witness did not come about through his death but through a life lived in faith coupled with love till his death.

John’s life is the way you and I are called to witness to Jesus.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2012,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.