Stories that Change Everything: A Maryknoll Reflection

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By John Siyumbu, M.M.

Sunday, April 30, 2023
Acts 2:14a, 36-41 | 1 Pt 2:20b-25 | Jn 10:1-10

Today Peter proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m reminded of the times when my cousins and I would gather around a fire and listen to stories from my grandmother. The crackling of the fire provided a background to tales that were seared in our young minds. Tales that became part of our being. Tales that linked the present to the past and to the future; making us see things in a new light. Peter does this for us believers today.

For us, the baptized, Peter’s story calls us into the light of the Resurrection. Just like a good John Grisham novel, Peter’s story captures our attention because it speaks of events in our history. Events that culminate to that singular event that widens the horizon of all of humanity. The story of Jesus of Nazareth draws us into the definitive story of God’s presence in our lives; through the person of Jesus Christ. An event unlike any other. The event, that draws each of us into a mystery so sublime yet so palpable.

Things change definitively when Jesus is raised from the dead. Meaning is infused into the works he did before the Resurrection. Listening to Peter, we are invited to go about doing good in the imitation of Christ. We are invited to bring the grace of the Resurrection into the lives of those around us, both near and far. To retell the story of how the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth has touched our lives. To collaborate with the Spirit and, like the way today’s collect at Mass says, “rise up in the light of life.” This way, we will participate in bringing life to lonely, life to those weighed down by wars, life to hungry, life to those estranged from family.

I often try to retell the stories that my cousins and I heard from my grandmother. I do this whenever my nieces and nephews visit. I notice that my retelling has a flavor of its own. See, the stories from my grandmother came with a commission to retell them. They became a part of me. I therefore imagine that Mary of Magdala, John and Peter would have their own ways of retelling their experiences of the Resurrection. As it dawned on them that Jesus was no longer among the burial cloths, the Resurrection became part of their being. Let it dawn on each of us that we are called to envision stones rolled away in the lives of others. To create and bring life whenever it is impeded by all sorts of stones – social, economic, systemic and situational. It is then, sisters and brothers, that we will be like Mary of Magdala. We will intimately experience the Resurrection.

This Easter Season, we are commissioned to preach. We join Peter and the whole Church in testifying to our belief in Jesus of Nazareth. He who was put to death on a cross now lives. And it is he who lives in us when we go about doing good. During this Easter Season, we are commissioned to grow into developing a widened horizon; a global concern for neighbors on our street, neighbors across the southern border and neighbors across the seas, crossing those perilous waters.

How about we go about doing good so that they can rejoice and be glad?! Now that — seeking the joy and gladness of our neighbors — would be doing what Paul exhorts us to do: seeking what is above, thinking of what is above.

Maryknoll Father John Siyumbu, of Kenya, was ordained in 2022 and is currently assigned to Peru.

To read other Scripture reflections published by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, click here.

Featured image: People sit at night around a campfire, an ideal place for retelling stories. This Sunday’s Mass readings invite believers to hear Saint Peter’s discourse and relive the story of the Resurrection, writes Maryknoll Father John Siyumbu. (Kevin Erdvig via Unsplash)

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Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, based in Washington, D.C., is a resource for Maryknoll on matters of peace, social justice and integrity of creation, and brings Maryknoll’s mission experience into U.S. policy discussions. Visit