Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she bent down to look inside; she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, «Woman, why are you weeping?». She answered, «Because they have taken my Lord and I don't know where they have put him». As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, «Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?». She thought it was the gardener and answered him, «Lord, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him». Jesus said to her, «Mary». She turned and said to him, «Rabboni» —which means, “Master”. Jesus said to her, «Do not cling to me; you see I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them: ‘I am ascending to my Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God’». So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, «I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me».
It’s quite normal in our life that we make blunders in our discernment and identification. If our approach is sincere and deeply rooted in love, God will transform everything in our favours. Though Mary misunderstood the identity of Jesus, Jesus has raised her from a simply woman, into a great missionary to be apostle of the Apostles. He has raised her from a simply lover to a great witness of His resurrection.
In every invitation God has a personal message to us, not necessarily for us, very often for others. All need to do is to surrender ourselves to the divine will, and learn to carry on without complaining of what we don’t have, rather filled with gratitude of what we have. Mary didn’t accuse herself for the misidentification nor the Lord. We should be generous to forgive ourselves in our mistakes and learn to carry on. God is generous in identifying in us our strengths and talents than judge us for our failures.
All that we needs is that we remain fully liberated, but remain connected to the will of the Father. Thus in our human relationship, we too will learn to put our trust in the Lord, than in the human beings. There we can say in a liberated way, without any hesitation that ‘we have seen the Lord’. This personal witness is possible, only if we liberate ourselves from human desires and experience the joy of accomplishing the will of the Father. Here even our broken relationship will be mended and our interpersonal relationship will be nourished.
«Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lord»
+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, in the figure of Mary of Magdala we may contemplate two levels of acceptance of our Savior: the first one, imperfect; complete, the second one. According to the first one, Mary appears as the most sincere of Jesus' disciples. She follows him, unmatched Master; heroically, she sticks to Jesus, crucified because of his love; she looks for him, beyond death, buried and missing. How full of admirable and humble submission to her “Lord” are her two exclamations that, as two unique pearls, the evangelist John has kept for us: «They have taken my Lord and I don't know where they have put him» (Jn 20:13); «Lord, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him»! (Jn 20:15). History has seen few disciples as loyal and full of affection as Mary of Magdala.
Notwithstanding, the good news of this Tuesday, octave of Easter, far exceeds all ethical uprightness and religious faith in an admirable Jesus, but in the last instance, death, to take us to an ambience of faith in Jesus Christ Resurrected. A Jesus Christ that, in the first moment, taking her from the level of imperfect faith, asks Mary of Magdala: «Woman, why are you weeping?» (Jn 20:15) To which, with myopic eyes, she replies to as a farmer only interested in her own anxiety would; a Jesus, now, that in a second and definitive moment, calls her by her name: «Mary»! to move and shake her up with resurrection and life, that is, with Himself, Resurrected and Alive Forever. Outcome? Mary of Magdala believer and Mary of Magdala, apostle: «So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’» (Jn 20:18).
It is not infrequent today to find many Christians that cannot clearly see what will come after this life and who, therefore, have doubts about Jesus' resurrection. Am I among them? On the other hand, there are too those Christians who have enough faith to follow Jesus privately, but who are afraid of apostolically proclaiming it. Do I belong to these ones? If this were the case, let us tell him, as Mary of Magdala did: «Master!», let us cling to his feet and let us go to our brothers and tell them: —The Lord has risen and I have seen him!