Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!”
It was the custom in Palestine to visit the tomb of a loved one for three days after the body had been laid to rest. It was believed that for three days the spirit of the dead person hovered round the tomb; but then it departed because the body had become unrecognizable through decay. Jesus' friends could not come to the tomb on the Sabbath, because to make the journey then would have been to break the law. Sabbath is, of course, our Saturday, so it was on Sunday morning that Mary came to the tomb. She came very early. It was still grey dark when Mary came, because she could no longer stay away. Mary had sinned much and she loved much; and love was all she had to bring. Mary was astonished to find the stone removed. It was a situation Mary felt that she could not face herself; so she returned to the city to seek out Peter and John. Mary is the supreme instance of one who went on loving and believing even when she could not understand; and that is the love and the belief which in the end finds glory.
So, then, it was to Peter and John that Mary went; and they immediately set out for the tomb. They went at a run; and John, who must have been a younger man than Peter since he lived on until the end of the century, outstripped Peter in this breathless race. When they came to the tomb, John looked in but went no farther. Peter with typical impulsiveness not only looked in, but went in. For the moment Peter was only amazed at the empty tomb; but things began to happen in John's mind. The sight suddenly penetrated to John's mind; he realized what had happened--and he believed. It was not what he had read in scripture which convinced him that Jesus had risen; it was what he saw with his own eyes.
The part that love plays in this story is extraordinary. It was Mary, who loved Jesus so much, who was first at the tomb. It was John, the disciple whom Jesus loved and who loved Jesus, who was first to believe in the Resurrection. He was the first man to understand and to believe. Love gave him eyes to read the signs and a mind to understand.
Do we experience the power of Jesus’ resurrection like Mary, John and Peter? St. Paul in the 2nd reading tell us that if you have been raised with Christ, we must seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God and set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.