St. John, Friday — 27th December 2019 — Gospel: John 20, 1a.2-8
Perceptions of faith
As we celebrate the feast of John the Evangelist, we read his own account of the visit to the tomb of Jesus on Easter Morning along with Peter and Mary Magdalene. While others took some time to believe, John came to believe at his first sight. His narrative ending attest to that faith, “he saw and believed”. Neither Peter nor Mary Magdalene were drawn to that testimony of faith. Mary Magdalene at first spoke as if somebody has taken Jesus body. Later she turn to believe in the garden after Peter and John had left. The other apostles believed halfheartedly when they saw the risen body of Jesus on the first day of Easter. Peter and other apostles (except Thomas) saw Jesus that night in Jerusalem. However, through his words of testimony of ‘seeing and believing’, John demonstrates his perceptiveness. In seeing the marks of the resurrection happenings he reasoned out many things and recalled the actualization of Jesus’ teachings. He tells in his narrative that the arrangement of the burial cloths and the head covering of the body of Jesus, which was done by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, were intact. He firmly believed that neither the grave robbers nor Roman authorities had removed the body of Jesus; if they had taken they would have taken the embalmed body as a whole. From Jesus’ teaching he learned that resurrection is only of the body and not of external clothes. All of this John realized as soon as he entered the empty tomb. His rapid affirmation of faith serves as foundation of the resurrection belief not only for the apostles and followers of his time, but for the believers of all times.