Monday, April 21, 2014

Looking Ahead: Alleluia! He is risen from the dead!

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

Looking Ahead: Alleluia! He is risen from the dead!

The scriptures today are rich, complex, certain, mysterious — all at the same time.

The Acts of the Apostles tells us what happened, when it happened, how it happened, and why it happened. The clarity, order and reason for everything is placed before us in utter logic and specificity.

But the Gospel (written 50 years later) inserts mystery, questions, belief and lack of understanding — all, again, at the same time.

Mary of Magdala sees the scene — the empty tomb — and presumes body theft. Peter arrives, looks into the empty tomb and, like a private investigator, notes all of the details, but he doesn’t appear to have any motive for what has happened. He observes the visible facts and nothing more.

John looks into the tomb and sees the same scene that both Mary and Peter have seen, but his response is quite a bit more. The Gospel simply says: “he saw and believed.”

In the final analysis, even after John simply states belief in what he saw, the Gospel takes another leap into mystery and declares a lack of comprehension: “For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”
The Easter season lasts for 50 days until Pentecost. This is our time to prayerfully reflect upon this profound mystery that we believe unfolds, for us, into eternity.

From our death comes life eternal.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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