Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for Easter Sunday (17th April) 2022

Reflections 17th April 2022
John 20:1-9

The Author: Sean Goan
calendar_today Date: March 28, 2022 - 3 minutes read

There are three people mentioned in the Gospel for Easter Sunday morning: Peter, Mary Magdalene and the Beloved Disciple.

Two of them have names and the third one we think we know – we imagine it is John the Apostle because that is what the tradition says. However, the evangelist chose not to identify this person, chose not to give him (or her!) a name. That can’t have been an accident.  

This person is simply the beloved disciple, the disciple Jesus loved! We meet him first at the Lord’s supper as he sits close to the Master, we meet him again at the foot of the cross and now today we find him in the empty tomb. I suspect that maybe the evangelist is trying to tell us something here about who we all are as beloved disciples. 

The characters in today’s story all “see” something. Mary saw that the stone had been rolled away. Peter and the beloved disciple on hearing this news, ran to the tomb. The beloved disciple, arriving first, did not enter the tomb but he saw the linen cloths. Peter arriving soon after, went into the tomb and he too saw the cloths.

Then comes the turning point – the beloved disciple entered the tomb and “he saw, and he believed.”  

What did he see? This is a different seeing, not with the eyes in his head but with the heart, and with the heart he comes to grasp the meaning of Easter and it is simply this: our God is trustworthy. He finally understands that everything Jesus said and did was bringing him to this moment when he could trust himself wholly and completely to God.  

On Easter morning we are invited to become the beloved disciple. Like him, we must learn to stand at the foot of the cross, but we must also learn to stand in the empty tomb so that we too can see and believe! This is the journey of faith, of coming to see that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. It is not a one-off moment – it happens to us again and again! 

So, on this day of days, no matter where we are, or no matter how we are feeling let’s join with Leonard Cohen in singing: 

And even though it all went wrong 
I’ll stand here before the Lord of song 
with nothing on my tongue but  
Hallelujah 

Sean Goan – Currently Coordinator of  Spiritan Mission Ireland, Belfast-born Sean is married, with 3 children. He taught for many years in Blackrock College and was chaplain there (2014-2017). He studied Scripture in Rome, Jerusalem and Chicago. He published The Sign in 2018.

Image: Pisit Heng Unsplash.com

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Sean Goan

Currently Coordinator of  Spiritan Mission Ireland, Belfast-born Sean is married, with 3 children. He taught for many years in Blackrock College and was chaplain there (2014

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