The Empty Tomb | Questions


///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

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The Empty Tomb



Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. The same women who came to anoint his body in the morning had been with Jesus when he died. Were they deterred from their task by fear? Compare and contrast their behavior with some of Jesus’ other disciples.

Think about events like the Ukrainian war and protests against injustice. Is President Zelenskyy stopped by fear? Were people like John Lewis, Gandhi, Doctors without Borders, and Dorothy Day? Where is your courage on a scale of 1 to 10? Will it look different on every person and in every situation?

2. What is it that allowed John to “see and believe,” to have this kind of clarity? Does love give you knowledge about a person, or insights into their behavior? In John, Jesus said “Whoever loves me, I will love him [her] and reveal myself to him [her]” (Jn 14:21). Is there a connection between Jesus’ statement and John’s “seeing and believing”?

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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  • On the third day after Jesus’ death on the cross Mary Magdalene, accompanied by some other women (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55—24:1), come to the tomb fully expecting to find Jesus’ body. Imagine her reaction when she finds the heavy stone rolled back and the body gone! Her first thought was to run to tell Peter, the leader of the remaining apostles.
  • Although Peter at first doubted her story (Luke 24:11), he and “the other apostle” (by tradition, John), also run to the tomb. They find the burial cloths in such a state that made it clear that the body had not been stolen (verses 6-7). At this point, they still could not grasp that Jesus had risen, as he predicted he would. Later, however, they would have no doubt.
  • That Jesus rose from the dead is the most well-attested miracle in Scripture. The Old Testament foretold it; Jesus predicted it on more than one occasion; it was confirmed by his several appearances (John 20:19—21:1; Acts 1:3; Luke 24:13-35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). It was even verified by the Roman soldiers guarding his tomb (Matthew 28:11-15)! Let us rejoice today that Jesus has defeated sin and death—Alleluia! He is risen indeed!


  1. Put yourself in the place of Mary. What is your emotional state in the days following the crucifixion? Why do you go to the tomb so early? How do you react to the empty tomb?
  2. According to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, how long was Jesus dead and his body in the tomb (John 2:18-22; Acts 10:40; CCC 994)? What did Jesus do for that time while in the tomb (1 Peter 3:19, 4:6; CCC 631-33)?
  3. What had the disciples been told in advance about Jesus rising from the dead (Matthew 16:21, 27:63)? How do the positions of the linen shroud and the napkin provide corroborating evidence of the Resurrection? What is your proof that Jesus rose from the dead?
  4. How should we respond to the empty tomb? Why did John preach the message (John 19:35, 17:20; 1 John 5:13)?
  5. When a loved one dies or life seems cruel or a drudgery, how does the Resurrection of Jesus help you deal with your pain?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • What does Mary Magdalene discover when she visit’s Jesus’ tomb?
  • Who does she tell about her discovery?
  • What other disciples come to the tomb?
  • What do they discover?
  • What happens to the disciple who arrives first when he enters the tomb?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. What helps you to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus?
  2. How does loving Jesus help you to believe?
  3. What can you do to strengthen your faith in times of doubt and uncertainty?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

He is Risen

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Sunday Dis

SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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  1. Share with the group or person next to you what spoke to you most in the Gospel. With this first question, try to refrain from commenting on what others said. Just share what spoke to you and then move on to the next person.
  2. In the first reading the apostles were called to witness to Christ. So too are we. How can you be better in your witness to God’s presence and redemption in your life?
  3. The Apostles were surely surprised by the events of Easter morning. Can you recall a time when God surprised you?
  4. Easter is the victory of life over death, of light over darkness, of goodness over evil. Can you recall a Good Friday event in your life from which good and blessing came?
  5. What is the challenge of Easter for you?
  6. What is the one thing Jesus is saying to us in this Sunday’s Gospel about how a disciple should speak or act?
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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No questions this week, only commentary.

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Pointers for Prayer

1. The disciples are in a state of shock after their traumatic loss. Jesus, the one in whom they had placed so much hope, has been murdered and buried. Then, before they have time to recover they get another shock. The body of Jesus is missing. Have you had experiences in which one tragedy or crisis follows quickly after another? What was that like for you? How did you cope? Who, or what, sustained you?

2. Mary and Peter, and the other disciple, came and discovered that the tomb was empty. In this text no explanation is given. They are left in a state of bewilderment ‘for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead’. Have you been in situations, faced with events you cannot explain, possibly events that have dashed your hopes in another person, or in God? What has that been like for you?

3. Yet in spite of the lack of explanation, the beloved disciple ‘saw and believed’. Have there been times when others have done something that you could not understand, and which they could not explain at the time, and yet you believed that all was not as it seemed; times when you decided to trust in spite of the evidence? Have there been times when others have shown this kind of faith in you, when you were not able to offer satisfactory explanations, and all you could say was ‘trust me’?

4. Have there been times in your relationship with God when you have felt that you were faced with an empty tomb, and still you believed? What have you learned about

PRAYER: God of undying life, by your mighty hand you raised up Jesus from the grave and appointed him judge of the living and the dead. Bestow upon those baptised into his death the power flowing from his resurrection, that we may proclaim near and far the pardon and peace you give us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, first-born from the dead, who lives with you, now and always, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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