Ampleforth Abbey

22 September 2017

Echoes of the Word 16th April 2017


Gospel of Easter Day                             Commentary on John 20:1-9

The Easter morning gospel, taken from St John, is full of rush. First Mary Magdalen, the apostle to the apostles, on finding the stone rolled away from the tomb, runs to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. In response to her, no doubt, breathless news, they both set off in response to run back the way Mary Magdalen has come. The other disciple, possibly younger and fitter, at any rate a faster runner, arrives first. Peter, perhaps somewhat middle aged and more portly, draws up. He is surely out of breath from the exertion but he has built up a momentum. The other disciple waits outside peeking in, but Peter, true to form, storms right in. The other disciple follows. Then at last there opens up a moment, or maybe it is rather an age, of stillness. There is no sign of Jesus, but just carefully detailed, the cloths that had wrapped his body and his head. No sign of Jesus, but the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, is at the point of stillness: ‘He saw and he believed’. We too, who Jesus loves, are called in the stillness to see and to believe.

Fr Gabriel Everitt OSB


Their eyes were opened                                            Luke 24:32

In St John’s gospel Peter and John run to the tomb, and, to their surprise and delight, find it empty. We are told: “Till that moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20:9). It dawns on them that there has been more going on than they could have imagined, that what looked like the end of everything was always only part of a bigger journey.
In Luke’s gospel two other disciples, walking away from Jerusalem to Emmaus, are joined by someone they think a stranger. It takes them time to recognise the risen Christ! He is incredibly discreet and immensely respectful, walking beside them at their pace, following their path. He simply listens to their story, giving them the precious gift of being really heard and understood. Only then does Jesus speak, opening their hearts and minds to the fuller story they have not been able to see, to the truth in all its wonder. Their hearts are on fire.
The Risen Christ walks beside each of us, incredibly respectful yet determined, if we will let him, to open our hearts to joy.  

Fr Kevin Hayden OSB