On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
“There is no tale ever told,” author J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote in an essay on storytelling, that people “would rather find was true.”
The Catholic author of The Lord of the Rings was speaking of the story of Jesus. Today, as we accompany Peter and the Beloved Disciple making their way to the tomb, we might echo Professor Tolkien’s comment.
Our faith—as St. Paul tells the Corinthians--rests on the reality of Jesus’ Resurrection. We base everything on the truth of the story. But establishing that truth is not a matter of science, history or archaeology. It’s a matter of faith. We must call upon the Holy Spirit—who is present to the Church—to assist us.
In the Easter Gospels, we hear the witness of the first followers of Jesus: Jesus was risen; they had experienced him alive in their midst. Their testimony in the Spirit moves us to a faith-filled “Alleluia.”
We live in a skeptical age. And yet in his essay, J.R.R. Tolkien pays tribute to the power of the Christian proclamation. He notes that there is no other story which so many skeptics “have accepted as true on its own merits.” Our Easter "Gospel" is a story of living faith in which we are participants and to which we are now witnesses.