Jesus leaves mysterious signs after the Resurrection in His tomb to help Peter and John believe. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can recall and rejoice in the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and by asking for the Gift of Understanding so he can live every day as a pilgrimage towards Heaven. 

Liturgy

Easter Sunday – Cycle ABC – Jn 20:1-9

Commentary

The Son of God’s Incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth, a deliberate pilgrimage to the Cross for the salvation of all willing men, culminated in the brutal Passion  (Latin, passionem,  meaning, “suffering”, “enduring”) on Good Friday. After the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary of Magdala, and others hastily wrapped the dead body of Jesus in burial cloths and placed it in the Holy Sepulcher, before sundown on Good Friday, the Apostles and other disciples wait in fear and discouragement in the Upper Room on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Early Sunday morning before sunrise, Mary of Magdala goes with other women (Mt 28:1) to the tomb to complete the ritual anointing of the dead body of Jesus. Finding the massive stone rolled away, Mary of Magdala assumes Jesus’ body has been stolen and rushes back to the Upper Room to tell Peter and John.

John outpaces the older Peter to the tomb but honors Peter’s authority by not entering Jesus’ tomb. Seeing the expensive burial cloths, John realizes that Jesus’ body has not been stolen, for grave robbers would have stolen them. John also realizes that unlike Lazarus, whose burial cloths had to be unbound by others after Jesus raised Him, Jesus has miraculously unwrapped Himself. 

Peter arrives and leads John into the tomb. Jesus’ body is gone but the head cloth/napkin (a small cloth placed over the face of the dead) and the linen burial cloths remain. Peter realizes that Jesus has deliberately left a sign of His Resurrection by carefully rolling up the head cloth and leaving it to be discovered. Peter and John both begin to believe but do not fully understand Jesus has risen; they will come to full belief when Jesus comes to the Upper Room later Easter Sunday evening. They return to the Upper Room to wait (v 10, omitted from the Liturgy).

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Jesus, in His Resurrection, performs a Spiritual Work of Mercy (Comfort the Sorrowful) by leaving relics for Peter and John to find which remove doubt about His Resurrection. The Sudarium of Oviedo (the napkin) and the Shroud of Turin (the linens) are ancient relics which may be the actual burial cloths of the Son of God found by Peter and John. These cloths are mysteriously imprinted with the image of a man who bears wounds described in the Passion of The Christ. Read about mysterious nature of the Sudarium and Shroud and be awed.

Recall and rejoice in the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus

Realize: While some falsely believe the Resurrection is a myth, the truth is the Resurrection of Jesus is a well-established historical event, witnessed by many and meticulously recorded in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. 

Believe: Reflect upon The Resurrection is a Historical Event (CCC 639-646, 656-658).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I have a soul-deep knowledge of the various eye-witness accounts of Christ’s Resurrection and I continually recall and rejoice in the reality of the Resurrection. 

Live every day as a pilgrimage towards Heaven

Realize: While the Resurrection is a true historical event, it also mysteriously transcends human history for it records events of a divine nature and should lead every Catholic man to understand each day is a pilgrimage towards Heaven.

Believe: Reflect upon The Resurrection as a Transcendent Event (CCC 647).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I firmly grasp and more fully live my daily life based on the supernatural reality that Christ was raised from the dead and I am on a pilgrimage towards Heaven.