The Empty Tomb


(White) Cycle A/Year I (April 16, 2017)
Acts 10:34, 37-43/Col 3:1-4/Jn 20:1-9

Mary Magdalene, Peter and John went to the tomb of Jesus early on the third day of the death of Jesus and they found out that the body of Jesus was not anymore there except the burial clothes. The gospel tells us that when John entered the tomb, he saw and believed. He saw the situation there: the burial clothes of Jesus were there, but the body was not there. He then believed that Jesus rose from the dead.

The empty tomb is a sign and not necessarily a proof that Jesus rose from the dead. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, his body would be there. The burial clothes also give hint to the resurrection of the glorified body of Jesus. If the body of Jesus was taken by other people, necessarily, his burial clothes would be taken away with the body. But the burial clothes were left there in such a way that it appeared that the body simply vanished or evaporated leaving behind the burial clothes. This fact further demonstrates the possibility of the glorified body of Jesus.

Indeed, Jesus rose from the dead and He appeared many times to His disciples. He had to rise from the dead as He predicted it before His death. Indeed, by dying Jesus destroyed our death and by rising He restored our life. Through His resurrection, Jesus saved us from eternal damnation, granted us new life in the grace of God and transformed us into the children of God. Consequently we have the courage to say to God: Our Father in Heaven. The creation by God made us into images and likenesses of God but the resurrection of Jesus made us God’s children. These constitute our dignity as a human being: we are not only images and likenesses of God; we are also children of God.

Our vocation as children of God leads us towards our mission which is to live as children of God. To live the life of a child of God is to live the life of Jesus, the Son of God. The life of Jesus is the life of love and service. Throughout His earthly life, Jesus taught and showed His love for God and for neighbors. He prioritized God and His neighbors over His own plans and needs. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus served His neighbors so much so that He said: I came not to be served but to serve. Jesus fed the hungry, taught the ignorant, cured the sick, raised the dead to life and did miracles to serve others.

As children of God we are called live the life of love and service. We must love God with all our heart, all our strength, and our whole being. We must make Him the center of our lives and prioritize His plans over our plans and desires. We must give time to Him by spending sufficient time for prayer everyday and by attending the Holy Mass at least every Sunday. We must be faithful to His commandments and teachings. We must also love our neighbors by recognizing Jesus Christ in the face of the poor, the beggar, the least, the last and the lost. There can never be true love without service. If we love our neighbors, we have to serve them and help those who are in need in one way or another. Let us ask the intercession of the Blessed Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help, that from this Easter onwards we may faithfully live the life of Christ.