St. Peter and St. John were shocked by the news St. Mary Magdalene brought them. She had gone to Jesus’ tomb, and the stone had been moved from the grave’s entrance. She assumed that someone had stolen his body.
To see for themselves, Peter and John ran to the grave. Indeed, the tomb was open and the body gone. But John realized that Jesus had risen from the dead – the cloths in which his body had been wrapped were lying undisturbed, but no body was in them. If someone had stolen Jesus’ body, they would have taken it just as it was. If he had only been unconscious or even had been raised like Lazarus was, the cloths would have been disturbed, probably lying on the floor in a heap. Jesus’ body had passed through them, a real body but changed!
As the apostles absorbed the teaching Jesus gave them during his Resurrection appearances, and as they continued their reflection under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they came to understand that the resurrection body is a real body, not just a spirit. Jesus could eat and drink and be touched. But it is not bound by the limits of our natural body, either. It is, St. Paul later termed it, a “spiritual body.”
St. Peter in his preaching declared that Jesus offers forgiveness of sins and will be the judge of all people. Our reaction should be one of thankfulness, and as St. Paul wrote to the Colossians, we are to “seek what is above,” in heaven where Christ now is.
What difference does a thankful way of living, adopted with a view to heavenly realities, make when we decide how we will use our time and talent and treasure?