The Gospel according to John:
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead. (John 20:1-9).
Reflection What can be said of the greatest day of Christianity? It is the feast day that gives meaning to every other day and feast days on the Church’s liturgical calendar.
The time of hope is passing to a time of restoration, of renewal, of rebuilding; all is only possible because of the resurrection of Our Lord.
I look back at the week that was. For some, the destruction of Notre Dame is calamitous, for Catholics it was also painful but full of powerful imagery to begin Holy Week.
As we watched the horror of fire seizing the church and smoke billowing out from the roof, how many of us were really surprised that the Cross stood untouched and illumined inside? We know this story; the Church has reminded us in a yearly cycle that death and destruction never have the final say in our story. So, when the first image of the inside of Notre Dame came to light, we were amazed but we were not surprised, because God is good and we know He saved, He continues to save and He will save.
When the French President made a public proclamation to rebuild Notre Dame, they were familiar words to me because someone much greater has spoken them before!
In the year 1205, in a little run-down church at San Damiano, Italy, St Francis heard the voice of God speaking to Him from the Cross, telling him to,
“Rebuild my Church, for it is falling into ruins.”
We, who live in the papacy which carries the namesake of St Francis, may we also heed the call to rebuild His Church for we know that there is much falling into ruins. God reminds us that He is the one who truly restores, renews, and rebuilds because He has risen!
Let us begin today with the Lord and ask that He renew each of us as we continue to pray for the renewal of His holy priesthood in those He has chosen to be His priests.