Do we run to the Lord? In one of this weekend’s Easter Sunday Gospel readings (John 20:1-9), people are dashing about left and right! First, Mary Magdalene goes early to the tomb. In this account, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb for no other reason than to be near to the body of Jesus. She goes early, this Gospel says, even while it is still dark. She, like all Jesus’ followers, must have been deeply shaken by the events of Good Friday. She, like so many of us, needed time to try to understand what happened to Jesus. She decides to go to Him, to His body at least, perhaps because she does not know where else or what else to do. This is not a bad idea! When we do not know what to think or how to understand events that happen to us or to people whom we love, to sit close to Jesus is a good place to start.

Mary Magdalene, however, is surprised to find that the tomb is open. She runs, therefore, to tell the apostles, surely with an admixture of fear and confusion and — perhaps — hope. The apostles take off for the tomb, also on the run. John, the beloved disciple, arrives first, but in deference to Peter, he does not go into the tomb. Peter arrives and steps inside the empty tomb. Imagine the silence as he looked around, gazing at the contents: the stone slab … the burial shroud … the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head … but no body.

Our situation is similar to that of the apostles. We know the tomb is empty, but we do not see Jesus. What are we to believe about this? The First Reading makes it very clear (Acts 10:34a, 37-43). Indeed, it is Peter himself who instructs us: God raised Jesus from the dead — that is why the tomb is empty. Jesus was then seen by the apostles. Not only that, He ate and drank with them. Jesus taught them what His passion, death and resurrection meant for the world. He also instructed them to tell people about it, not to keep it to themselves.

What Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection (also called the Paschal Mystery) means for the world is highlighted in two ways in Peter’s speech. First, he says that Jesus will judge the living and the dead, according to God’s eternal plan. This means that all men and women from every time and place will eventually be judged by Jesus. Second, Peter proclaims that anyone and everyone who believes in Jesus are forgiven of their sins. The reality of this gift and the tremendous impact it can have on our lives is brought home in the Second Reading from the letter to the Colossians (Col 3:1-4).

Paul writes in this letter that belief in Christ and receiving the forgiveness of sins raises us up to the life of God. The resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus — it is something that happens to you and me the moment we believe in Him. Because of the power of Jesus’ resurrection in your life, you can begin to think differently: you can think the way God thinks and see things through His eyes. Paul writes, “Set your mind on the things that are above …” Not only that, you can love the way God loves. This is why Paul adds, “Seek the things that are above …” We only look for things we love.

This new way of thinking and loving is available to each person if he or she believes in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Christ lives forever and He lives in you through faith, hope and love. Run, see and believe.