EASTER SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION
(White) Cycle B/Year II (April 1, 2018)
Acts 10:34, 37-43/Col 3:1-4/Jn 20:1-9
It seems that what John the Apostle and Evangelist experienced in the empty tomb – He sees and believes – was an application of the famous saying: “To see is to believe.” For John believed in the resurrection of Jesus when he saw the empty tomb. But John’s experience in the empty tomb is not a direct application of the said saying because while the saying is centered more on seeing, the experience of John is centered more on believing. While in the saying, seeing is the condition sine qua non for believing, in the experience of John seeing is only a confirmation of his belief. John already believed the words of Jesus that He would rise from the dead. And so, when he saw the empty tomb, his belief was confirmed.
How is it possible that John’s faith was confirmed in his seeing? It is because John loved Jesus Christ so much. Among all the apostles, it was only John who accompanied Jesus to the Calvary. All other apostles fled and did not follow Jesus Christ for fear of being apprehended by the authorities. But John did not abandon Jesus until His death on the cross. John loved Jesus Christ so much as to risk his life in accompanying Jesus in His crucifixion.
Jesus also loved John so much as it is mentioned in the Gospel of John that John is the beloved disciple of Jesus. Moreover, among all the apostles of Jesus, only John did not suffer martyrdom. He died a natural death after his long earthly existence. Certainly, Jesus favored John because He loved him very much.
This great love that existed between Jesus and John is the key towards the faith of John in Jesus. Because of such love, John believed the words of Jesus and could even read the meaning of the deeds of Jesus. So when he saw that the tomb was empty, he knew immediately that Jesus resurrected from the dead as He promised. Love then is the key towards faith in Jesus’ resurrection.
Today, Jesus has resurrected from the dead. It is a fact that cannot be changed whether we believe it or not. If we do not believe it or have doubts about it, it is simply because we do not love Jesus. On the other hand, if we love Jesus, then we know that He is risen and that He has opened for us the way towards eternal salvation. Jesus is the only Son of God and He was sent by God to this world to guide us towards eternal life because He is the way to God. Let us then strengthen our love for Jesus. If we love Jesus the way John loved Him, we will always recognize His presence with us in many ways.
Jesus has not abandoned us even though He already ascended into heaven. He loves us so much that He has left us vestiges of His presence. When we pray together, Jesus Christ is present to us. When we read the Bible or listen to the Gospel proclaim, He is present to us. He is also present to us when we receive the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist where we partake of His body and blood in the Holy Communion. In a special way, Jesus is present to us whenever we help the needy brothers and sisters in the streets, in the prison cell, in the hospital, etc.
Love for Jesus must not be too intellectual or theoretical. It must be practical, that is, it must be seen in our daily activities. Everything that we do must manifest, or at least must be incoherence with, our love for Jesus. How do we show our love for Jesus? We show it the way John loved Jesus. John was faithful to Jesus as manifested by John’s presence in the crucifixion of Jesus. He was obedient to Jesus as He accepted Mary, the mother of Jesus, to be his own mother as commanded by Jesus. We show our love for Jesus by being faithful and obedient to Him until death.