Jesus is Risen! Alleluia! He lives. We can run to Him, especially in times of need, and He will be there for us.
Today’s Gospel, John’s account of Easter morning, contains two strong images: Peter and John’s foot race to the tomb, and Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus.
When Mary runs to the disciples to tell them that the tomb was empty, Peter and John run to the tomb to see for themselves. It is out of their love for Jesus that they run.
In the second image, Jesus appears to Mary, but she does not recognize him. She thinks He is the gardener. She gazes into His eyes and listens to Him speak, but does still not recognize Him. He then simply says “Mary.” Called by name, she recognizes Jesus.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows each of us by name. He knows what is in our hearts, and everything about us. He loves us unconditionally. In Jesus, like Mary, we gaze into the eyes of God, hear God’s voice, and are strengthened by God’s loving care. We are not loved by some distant God. We are loved by a personal God who lives among us.
Let’s run to Him, especially during difficult times in our lives and in our world. Let’s listen as He calls us by name and embraces and strengthens us. And let us run to tell others that Jesus lives.
Let us run to Him in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Let us run to Him where He is most present among us: in the community of disciples gathered for the Eucharist. Let us run to Him each day!
The tomb is empty. He lives!