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Run to Jesus: An Easter Reflection Amidst the Pandemic

Posted at April 04, 2021

When you hear about a happy news, or perhaps it not happy news but a sad news, what do you do next?  You wanted to tell it immediately to your love ones.  And most of the time, if you agree with me, these kind of news are not that proper to simply share it thru text or chat.  You may want it to share personally to them.  You want to share the joy or you want to share the sadness, complete with the expressions of a hug or embrace.

 

My dear friends, this is what is happening in our Gospel for this Easter Sunday.  Mary Magdalene visited the tomb and found out that the stone was removed.  And so she ran to tell it to the Peter and the other disciples.  This happened not out of happiness or joy, it was more of a confusion at first.  She said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  And so all of them ran back to the tomb.  However, there is an important detail for our reflection today.  They all ran at the same time, however, it is quiet interesting that Peter arrived last at the tomb.  And so we ask why?  Was Peter a slow runner?  Was it because Peter was old?  Or was it because for a different reason?

To answer this question, we look back several key moments of Peter.  We know Peter was a faithful disciple of Jesus.  He always wanted to be first in all things.  He was the one who wanted to build a tent after the transfiguration event.  He was one who wanted to walk on water with Jesus.  He was the one who said during the last supper that he would defend Jesus to the death.  But what happened?  All of what Peter have said and showed failed when he denied Jesus, not only once, but three times.  Try to imagine how Peter must have felt with the news of Mary Magdalene.  And so when they were running to the tomb, Peter’s feet was a bit heavy because of his failure, perhaps his belief is weakened, and this time he was not the first to arrive at the tomb, but the last.

If we take a look at our world today, if we look at our lives and the lives of many of our brethren, we can see many pains and suffering.  Not to mention, this pandemic has already brought many struggles and challenges.  It has changed so many things in our way of living.  Perhaps, we are like Peter, we are also loosing the strength to run towards Jesus.  And these days of remembering the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus teaches us to never loose sight of Jesus.  We must continue to run, even run at our fullest to Jesus because he never lose hope in us. 

Today is Easter Sunday.  It is a celebration of our faith.  A joyful celebration of how Jesus counquered the darkness and death for our salvation. But this story of ours didn’t start with pure joy but in pain and suffering.  The same feelings that the apostles felt when they saw that Jesus was not in the tomb.  First, they were all confused.  Because they thought that Jesus’ body was stolen.  But as we know that this confusion faded slowly as Jesus appeared to them several times.  And from that moment on, they believed.  They believed that Jesus is truly risen, Jesus is truly alive, with his wounds at his hands and feet.  Hence, they shouted, “Alleulia!” They were filled with joy and happiness.  The Lord has died, the Lord has risen.  This kind of joy and happiness must be filled in our hearts today as Christians.  And not only today but for the rest of our Christian lives.  And what does this joy and gladness mean?  It means that we have new life in Jesus Christ.  We have become true children of God.  There is no other joy and gladness higher than this.  Because of the love of God the Father, he gave his only begotten Son so that we may be one with God.  And attached to this joy and gladness is the promise of God that he would never leave us, that he will always be with us.  In our sadness and happiness, in the defeats and in victories of our life, in life and death, God is always with us.  This is the triumph of the Cross for all of us.  This is what we remember on this holy day.  That is why after the homily, we renew our baptismal promises.  Just like the promise of God that he would never leave us, we renew our promise of our faith.  Through this, may we bring the true joy and gladness of the risen Lord and share this to others who seemed lost and confused. 

 

We are an Easter people, full of energy, full of trust, always happy running to Jesus and to others. 

 

Sparkles of Light (4 April 2020)

Fr. Arthur W. Nebrao, Jr., S.J.

A Homily on Easter Sunday