In the Gospel reading for Easter morning, we are presented with the image of Peter and John running to the tomb. It’s an image so beautifully captured in this painting by Eugene Burnand.

This image of running is a good metaphor for us to consider how we wish to respond to the risen Jesus in our lives. Do we want to run to him? Are we already running to him, or are we not? ‘To run’ tells us a lot about the state of our faith life in the light of Easter. It points us to a destination, where we want to head towards. It also expresses the energy and time we are willing to spend to finish the run or to reach the endpoint. More significantly, ‘to run’ tells us about how important or urgent we prioritize our relationship with Jesus.

These are some points we also hear in Jackie and Bobby’s presentation ‘Run to the Risen Jesus This Easter!’

Below are the key points they make:

  • Children run everywhere and often. Adults don’t run as much. They lose the delight in running. This delight expresses excitement.
  • The disciples ran to the empty tomb when they heard about the risen Jesus on the first Easter. Even Peter, who ran away from him and then denied him three times, ran to Jesus. He ran even in sin and brokenness — even when he betrayed Jesus — because he had hope in the Lord. The disciples run because they wanted to know the truth about Jesus — is he alive?
  • If we sin habitually and feel unworthy, we can take courage from Peter, and also run to Jesus.
  • St Paul says that our faith would be in vain if Jesus had not risen from the dead (Acts of the Apostles). His resurrection gives us hope. This is the basis of Christian faith; this means we are not dead anymore. We are free from sin and death. We can walk in the newness of life. This is our hope.
  • Paul expresses this truth in his letter to the Romans: “How can we who died to sin yet live in it? Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life” (Romans 6.3-4).
  • Jesus’ resurrection gives us life. Human death is not the end. It is a transition into the newness of life with God. We join Jesus who is alive. This is the point of Easter: Jesus is alive with us and in us. This is why even with our struggles and sinfulness, we can run towards the risen Jesus.
  • Do we have that kind of excitement when it comes to embracing our risen Lord? We are not citizens of this world. We are made for heaven, and in this Easter Octave the joy in acknowledging that fact resonates throughout the Church. In our baptism, we became a new creation in Christ. With his resurrection, he ushers in a new beginning for us to live life to the full, even if we have to suffer in this world. This is how St Paul describes the Christian life in the light of Easter: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
  • Yes, we can take heart and have hope in the resurrection, no matter what we may be going through.

So run to Jesus. This is the message Jackie and Bobby are inviting us to consider this week. Let’s do so.

Here are some points to include in your prayer and reflection this week:

a) Consider your relationship with the risen Jesus this Eastertide. How are you relating to Jesus? What does it mean to you that Jesus is indeed risen, particularly alive in your life?

b) If you hear that the tomb is empty as Peter and John did that Easter morning, how would you respond? Would you run towards it, or will you wait for Jesus to come to you? Why?

c) As a person with SSA, you might be struggling with a sense of unworthiness and the reality of sin. This may prevent you from running to Jesus. Yet you have heard how Peter who betrayed Jesus still ran to the tomb. You have also heard from St Paul how Jesus’ death and resurrection allow all to walk in the newness of life that is God’s salvation. Does this truth St Paul proclaimed give you enough confidence to run to Jesus as a person with SSA? How so? When you do meet the risen Jesus, what will you want to say to him or do with him?

This Week’s Prayer & Reflection

“The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his Resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.” – Pope Francis  
Let’s ask God to give us the spirit of confidence and delight to run towards the risen Jesus; he waits to lift us up!