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  • Sarah Raad

Ran

“But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.” (Luke 24:11-12).

John and Peter (Eugène Burnand)

It is Easter Sunday Morning! Rejoice rejoice rejoice! It is Easter Sunday morning – and it has been a very very long Lent – or at least it has felt like a very very long lent to a weak soul such as mine…


This morning as I wake up to the normal Easter morning clamour that takes place in a family home with children who are excited for the eggs and gifts and socialising that will occur on this special day, I have taken a moment to look at a beautiful artwork which is simply called “John and Peter” and which was painted in watercolours by Eugène Burnand in 2017.


And today – on this MOST HOLY FEAST of the Risen Lord – I stand transfixed before this painting…


I look into the face of Saints Peter and John depicted there and I can feel their hope! I can feel their excitement as they listened to the words of Saint Mary Magdalene, who returned to the room where the disciples were waiting to tell them that their Lord had risen from the dead…


And I can imagine that scene right now...


I can imagine all those men sitting inside that small darkened upper room. I can imagine the small group of women who would have been tending to the household needs – the cleaning and the cooking and the washing. And I can imagine the Blessed Virgin, crying quiet tears of acceptance of the Will of God…


I can imagine all the windows closed and all the curtains drawn across the openings. I can imagine the quiet in the room because they were all in hiding – afraid for their lives. I can imagine their confusion, “But He performed so many miracles, what went wrong? Why did He not save Himself? I know He could because I saw Him do FAR FAR greater things than escape a few guards…”


I can imagine the prayers that they prayed and the tears that they cried.

And – most of all – I can imagine their terrible heart-rending grief, not only because they had LOST their beloved Lord, but also because (most of them) had not even stayed beside Him to comfort Him as He suffered and died.

I can imagine the terrible despair as they wondered what they were to do next. After all, they had publicly followed the Man who was the Messiah for THREE YEARS. People knew they were disciples of Christ. They had left their work and families and friends. They had burned bridges in doing that...


Perhaps Saint Peter had no fishing boat anymore? Perhaps Saint Andrew had forgotten how to cast the nets? Could Saint Matthew have returned to his booth to collect taxes again – having seem what he had seen and having known what he now knew?


I can imagine all the hundreds of thoughts climbing through those heads as though they were climbing through my own. But loudest of all, I can hear the cries of anguish that they had failed their Beloved. I can hear those men grieving for their own weakness, “‘Why are you sleeping?’ He asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’” (Luke 22:46). And I hear those cries, because they are like my own cries…


And then – today – I look at this painting. And I see the expressions of two of those men – the oldest (presumably) and the youngest, John… And I see the light dawning inside that darkened room. And I imagine their most profound and unbelievable feelings of JOY in knowing that He had Risen and He had Returned.


These two did not stop. Even though, we are told, “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24: 11), still “Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.” (Luke 24:12).


Despite all his fear of lost hope or frustrated dreams. Despite his logic and intellect telling him this was impossible. And despite all his feelings of grief and fear and remorse… When she told them what she had seen Saint Peter GOT UP AND RAN to see Him…


And I wonder – on this most Wonderous Day – whether I will have the Grace to get up and run too?


For that would be my dearest prayer…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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