Feast of Saint John the Apostle
1 John 1:1-4
John 20: 1a, 2-8
Maybe it’s just me, but I sure could use a few miracles in my life. That’s the word that keeps going through my head as I contemplate today’s gospel-miraculous. Of course, this isn’t any great revelation. If you’ve read my past reflections, you know how I like to dig around in the reading and maybe ask you to look at it in a way you haven’t before. But, today, I am struck simply by remembering the miracle of the Resurrection. And here’s why; If God, our Father, gave His only son for us, and rose Him from the dead, then what isn’t possible with our Lord?
The answer of course, is nothing! But, it sure doesn’t feel like there are many miracles to go around these days, does it? How about a government that puts the needs of its constituents first? Is that possible? Affordable healthcare? How about families not going to bed hungry? A surplus of good jobs? An end to gun violence? Peace in the Mideast? I can almost hear the disbelief! Seems impossible, I agree.
But, remember how Mary Magdalene and the other disciples must have felt after Jesus’ death. They watched the man they loved suffer and die on a cross. Not only had they lost Jesus, they had to fear for their own safety as known friends of Christ. And then, just when all hope seemed lost, they found the empty tomb. All that had been promised was true! Jesus rose! He conquered death and sin! In their darkest hour came the miracle of salvation.
When I was a kid, I can remember my prayers. They were big. I brought all my worries and all my dreams to Him. There wasn’t anything I thought He couldn’t do. Is that still how we pray? This is the God of creation! Our Father in heaven who gave His only son. Let us remember the miracle of the Resurrection. There is nothing that can’t be done without His help.
When Mary Magdalene and the others arrived at the tomb in John’s gospel, there wasn’t a choir of angels. Jesus wasn’t standing there with open arms to show them that he was alive. It was just an empty tomb with used burial clothes rolled up in the corner. Mary Magdalene’s first thought is that Jesus had been taken. But the "beloved" disciple "saw and believed."
I wonder what miracles are present in our own lives that we don’t even recognize? I have eyes that see and legs that walk and a heart that beats. There are three miracles right there. When the disciple reached the tomb, what was it that allowed him to go from seeing an empty tomb to believing in Christ’s Resurrection? The answer, of course, is faith.
I hope that as we prepare to welcome the New Year that we can see with the eyes of faith. That we can dream to ask God for all the beautiful things He wants us to have in life-health, love, friends, truth. And I hope that we can see all the miracles walking around in our life already, the ones we don’t recognize as miracles because we aren’t seeing with the eyes of faith.
Marlo Serritella is on staff at the Holy Cross Province Development Office in Chicago.