|The Shroud of Turin|
It is quite interesting to take note of these details in John's account of the disciples at the empty tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be these cloths that John is describing. The Church directs that the Shroud may be venerated as an object of devotion, but does not declare, for certain, that it is the burial cloth of Jesus. (Faith knows now, science will catch up later.)
When the disciple John saw the shroud and the head-cloth (known as the Sudarium) neatly set aside, in an empty tomb, it says he "believed". Something about the way all these elements of the empty tomb triggered in John's mind. (... but of course, the grave was not robed ... the scriptures, "... he (the Messiah) must rise from the dead" ... but of course, he has risen!)
We too must be clear about our faith. Throughout history, many great figures have impressed us by their lives and inspired us by their teaching about God. Yet all of them now lay in tombs. Jesus is not merely one of them. It's not the he was, it's that he is, here and now. This disciple knew Jesus before he died, but now he was to get to "know" him in an entirely new way. What is most profound about this is that we too, can get to "know" Jesus, the risen One, just as John, here and now. It begins when we enter the empty tomb/room/space of our contemplative prayer to meet him.
The study of the Shroud of Turin can be most edifying to our prayer. Here is a link to the official website. [... LINK ...]