April 3, 2010

The Hidden Truth

Easter Sunday
April 4, 2010
John 20: 1-10 “He saw and believed.”

When the disciples learned from Mary Magdala that the stone of the tomb of Jesus was removed and the tomb was empty. Peter and John immediately run to the tomb to verify the story. Stealing bodies of dead were not unusual that time, plus the fact that the Pharisees kept telling that the body of Jesus would be stolen by the disciples and proclaim that Jesus has risen from the dead.

All of them wanted to know the truth. When they arrived, they saw the empty tomb and burial cloth. Peter concluded that the body was stolen and he was disappointed. On the other hand, when John saw the cloth, he believed. Imbedded in that neatly folded cloth was the hidden truth - Jesus is alive and has risen from the dead. An intense joy and hope must have entered John’s heart when he saw the cloth and believed! Resurrection brings new life!

John’s immediate recognition of the hidden truth of the empty tomb was admirable. He was an instant Easter disciple. In the midst of their grief and fear, he recalled the words of Jesus about his dying and resurrection. Many times Jesus had told his destiny – he will die on the cross but will rise again after three days. Unfortunately, nobody listened to Jesus each time he would talk about it. John’s loyalty and faith in Jesus made him stay with Jesus all throughout – from his crucifixion to resurrection. His faith did not waver even in death. He held on to every word of Jesus and bear fruit. He saw the hidden truth in the empty tomb. God blessed him with an inner eye that led him see the risen Christ. Later in the gospel, when the disciples caught a large number of fish, John again was the first to recognize Jesus, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7).

Easter children are like John. They have the ability to see the hidden truth in all things. They have the gift of recognizing God, even in darkness, failures, and hopelessness - a gift given to those who stayed faithful and obedient to the words of God.

Our gospel reveals why the disciples did not see the hidden truth of the empty tomb, “for they did not understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” (John 20:9). They were given equal opportunity to hear Jesus and his prophecy about his rising. Unfortunately, the disciples did not listen. John was a listener from the start that is why he was called “the beloved.” Listening to the words of God is the secret of seeing the risen Christ in all things.

Jesus has already risen and promised that he will be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). Unfortunately, some of us are still grieving in their tombs. Locked and trapped in their miseries, sorrows, and fears. They failed to look around for the “neatly rolled cloth” in their tombs. Like the disciples, they remained in their own closed rooms. They are still dead.

In our modern era where natural calamities, tragedies, war, terrorism, church and family scandals, and personal struggles are our usual morning news, we are all longing for meaning, encouragement and hope. We need Easter Children who will be there to help others see the hope secretly hidden in their darkness, confusion and hopelessness.

You are an Easter child by the merit of Christ’s resurrection. You are bearer of Good news to your family, friends, and to all people. Help them see the hidden truth so that they will see the glory of the Risen Jesus and transform their hearts into a joyful one. Claim it. See, believe and be joyful!

Happy Easter!

- Fr.Willy M. Samson,SJ / Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood, CA / April 4, 2010

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