Easter: ‘Come and see!’

‘Come and see’ is one of the main themes of John’s Gospel. It is a strong Easter theme as well. It links Easter to Christmas (the shepherds went and saw). Mary Magdalene came and saw that things were not as expected. The resurrection upsets all expectations, and the only way to apprehend it is to come and see that things are different. The world is turned on its head with this news. Things are always different than expected with Jesus. Could it also be that things are different with his followers? How wonderful it would be if people said these followers of Jesus are not like other people; come and see how they love the world! There is something in this story that reaches the deepest regions of our hearts and minds, where both doubt and faith are found. The place to begin in the life of faith is not necessarily with those things that are beyond doubt. Rather, we should begin with the larger realities and deeper mysteries that are open to doubt, but are also large enough and deep enough to reveal something of God to us. That is the promise held out to us on this day, the promise of Easter, which has been the occasion of the greatest doubt and also the source of the most profound faith. Mary Magdalene preached the first sermon. She saw and believed and announced. She did not require ordination or an accredited preaching course. She required only a word from Jesus. Then she went and told. What will it take for us to take the Gospel to others? Will we also see and believe? Here, is the message for us: Christ is risen – go tell someone. It depends on us, as it depended on Mary. Remember the old joke? The priest knocks on a door and hears a woman inside call out, “Is that you, angel?” The priest replies, “No, but I am from the same department.” We are all from the message department. Ours is to proclaim the same news: Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Fr Jonathan