Children like to run. Have you ever noticed this? Watch children at play – pure energy! In children we see the body just needing to move – not weighed down, not encumbered by age or past hurts – pure life and pure joy! Children run and in this running we find a witness to life and to joy!
The gospel (Jn. 20:1-9) today tells us that Mary of Magdala ran to the disciples once she saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb’s entrance. The gospel then goes on to tell us that Peter and John ran to the tomb to investigate. When you ask children at play, “Why do you run?” they probably will not be able to give an answer. Maybe at best they will say, “Because we can!” or “We just want to!” The running is just a witness to live within them. Why did Mary run? Why did Peter and John run? Was it a conscious decision on their part or rather, like children, did the energy of a new life impel them? I think it was the latter. An unimaginable energy, an unheard of joy – the tomb was empty! Death has been conquered! They ran simply because they had to!
For too long history has wept before the tombs of our world. How countless the number of men and women who have died by violence, hatred, war, famine, isolation and abandonment! Even today it continues. Before the tombs of our world our hearts are left heavy and we feel abandoned. Before the tomb there is no joy, no desire to run because there seems to be no future – no hope.
Hope impelled Mary and the two disciples to run. They ran because hope was born again in their hearts! Not a hope born of this world that ends with the tomb but a hope born of heaven that empties the tomb from within! In the resurrection of Christ the tomb is emptied from within! Christ has entered even death itself – abandonment from God – and Christ has overcome death from within. Death, sin and evil are swallowed up! The tomb is emptied from within. Death is robbed of its power!
The tombs of our world remain. Sadly, too many people still weep before the tombs of violence, war, abandonment and isolation but the finality of the tomb has been broken. Its power vanquished!
Where is the glory of the resurrection? It is in the gospel that says there is a different way to live other than the logic of the tomb – a way that says “no” to violence, “no” to abandonment and to war, hatred and isolation. The glory of the resurrection is found in the heart of the Christian who says “yes” to this different way of living – “yes” to friendship, “yes” to forgiveness and reconciliation, “yes” to peace and “yes” to the belief that death is not the final word!
And when we live this different way? We run, we run so fast! We run with Mary and Peter and John! We run a new way with a new hope born of heaven! Life itself impels us to run!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!