April 04, 2015
1st Reading Rom 6: 3-11
Gospel: Mark 16: 1-7
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus’ tomb was already empty when the women got there early on Sunday. A man dressed in white informed them that Jesus had already risen from the dead. The women testified to what they had seen and heard at the tomb but the Jews rejected their testimony. Instead they accused the disciples of making the face-saving scheme of stealing Jesus’ body to make it appear he had arisen. Their accusation, though, had no leg to stand on. If indeed the disciples had to make up a story, surely they could have done better by establishing their story on the testimony of men, not women. Women in those days were considered less credible in society.
But the women did not see Jesus’ actual rising from the tomb. They only learned about the resurrection from the angel. Seen from the perspective of our Rules on Evidence in the Philippines, the women’s testimony is admissible as an independently relevant statement. An independently relevant statement is good evidence independent of the truth of the statement because what is sought to be established is only the fact that the statement was actually uttered by the third person, in our case, by the angel at the tomb. As to this fact, the women were credible witnesses because it was to them that the angels announced that Jesus rose from the dead.
The Jews had different rules on evidence, and perhaps during the time of Jesus they didn’t have the concept of an independently relevant statement. But the bottom line is that there was no way to convince the Jews about the resurrection because they also had their own face to save. Indeed to those who believe no proof is necessary, but to those who do not believe no proof is proof enough.
Why didn’t Jesus time his resurrection with the visit of those women? Or he could have waited till any of his apostles came to visit his tomb. The answer has great relevance to faith. “Faith is the…evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews11:1). – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, increase our faith in the resurrection so that we too may live in the light of Christ. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor. He was born at Cartagena, Spain, in 560. Under the strict supervision of his brother, who used to shut him up in a cell to prevent him from straying, he became the most learned person of his age. Appointed Bishop of Seville about the year 600, Isidore helped in the conversion of the Visigoths from Arianism. He also presided over the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633, which decreed the standardization of liturgical practice and the establishment of cathedral schools. Isidore was also a voluminous writer. His “Three Books of Sentences” was the first manual of the Church on Christian doctrine and ethics. In 636, after receiving the last sacraments, he forgave his debtors, distributed to the poor the rest of his possessions and died peacefully in the Lord.