RESURRECTION STATION 2
✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Alleluia. Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
A reading from the Gospel according to John (20.3-8)
Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.
Reflection: The empty tomb was not a proof of the resurrection,
but rather a silent witness of the greatest event of our faith.
Seeing the empty tomb, the disciples were motivated to seek the Risen Lord
at work in their midst.
They saw and believed in the continuing presence of the Lord of love.
All the empty and lonely places of human life
are precisely where the Lord wishes to work and be revealed.
Prayer: God our Father, creator of all, today is the day of overwhelming joy.
The Lord appeared to those who had begun to lose hope
and opened their eyes to what the Scriptures foretold:
that first He must die and then rise.
May the Risen Lord breathe on our minds and open our eyes that we may know Him in the breaking of bread, and follow Him in His risen life. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The empty tomb. For us today it’s a symbol of Jesus’s resurrection, evidence that Christ is risen, victorious over death, and a sign that a new era is beginning.
For Mary Magdalene, at the moment of discovering the tomb opened up and empty, it was a very different experience. Someone had deprived her of the chance to say her final farewell to the teacher whom she loved.
Mary’s experience of further desolation and of an absent God, will sadly feel familiar to many today during this pandemic. People are grieving for the passing of loved ones, having not been allowed to be at their bedside in their final hours. Parents, siblings and children are being buried or cremated without the comfort of a church service, or the chance for wider family and friends to offer mutual support as they gather at a funeral.
In the midst of these dark times of sadness, frustration, fear and uncertainty we as Christians are called to discern and proclaim a message of hope. Like John, we may not understand how things will happen, but we can be confident that God is still with us; we can have faith that nothing can separate us from God’s love and that good will prevail. And within the darkness, seeds are being sown that are currently invisible but will one day burst out of the soil and blossom.
Will our society come out of this time with new perspectives and priorities?
Might we all become more conscious of the shallowness of lives focused on consumption, and place greater value on relationships?
Might we have learned to recognise everyone as being of equal worth, having seen how dependent we really are on the efforts of nurses, care workers, supermarket staff, delivery drivers and other low paid but key workers?
We cannot tell. But we can hope.
And, like John, even in our darkest moments
we can believe that all things are possible through God.
Canon Paul Chandler, Lay Canon – Durham Cathedral
Prayer: We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,
for in you our God reveals the awesome power of love that is
stronger even than death.
As in your dying you destroyed death,
so in your rising may we be raised above the trials
and torments of this world’s woe.
To you, Lord Jesus,
the fullness of your life revealed in an empty tomb,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus:
Dying you destroyed our death,
rising you restored our life:
Lord Jesus, come in glory. Alleluia!