Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. And she said to them, «They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don't know where they have laid him».
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».
An act of love demonstrates the depth of the relationship that Mary had with the Lord. No one dared such act (not even the disciple who loved Jesus), which is purely human, but transformed into an act apostolic and divine.
Her journey started with simple admiration and gratitude turns into deep love and appreciation. Saint Gregory the great will interpret this encounter by telling, who is searched, is the same one who has inspired Mary to come here. Thus every act that we consciously take, there is a divine will and as Christians, we should always keep this in mind, particularly in our discernment. It is in this consciousness of divine presence in our being, that we are called to think and act.
It is quite possible that in our discernment, we might make mistakes and sometime blunders, just like Mary who identified Jesus as gardener. Even in our mistakes and blunders, Jesus intervenes personally and transform, where our blunders become an occasion of grace. From an ordinary woman, Jesus has elevated her to be the apostle of the Apostles, by making her, as the first person to announce the good news of the Resurrection.
If we look back into the life of Mary, we will find out without any mistake, a deep love and a mutual love. It is in such love that God desires to work. We have to ask ourselves, do we have such deep love for the Lord? If yes, what have we done for this love?
«Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we celebrate with joy Saint Mary Magdalene. With joy and benefit for our faith!, because her trail could very well be ours. Magdalene came from afar (cf. Luke 7: 36-50) and she did go very far... Indeed, at the dawn of the Resurrection, Mary looked for Jesus, found the risen Jesus and met Jesus’ Father, "Our Father". That morning, Jesus Christ discovered her the most important fact of our faith: that she was also God’s daughter.
In Mary of Magdala’s itinerary, we discover some important aspects of our faith. In the first place, we admire her courage. Though a gift from God, faith requires courage from the believer. Generally, we tend towards what we can see, what can be seized with our hand. God being essentially invisible, faith “represents the risky enterprise of accepting what plainly cannot be seen as the truly real and fundamental. It involves a leap out of the tangible world” (Benedict XVI). Mary, by seeing the risen Christ can also "see" the Father, the Lord.
On the other hand, the "leap to faith" «is reached through what the Bible calls conversion or repentance: only he who changes receives it "(Benedict XVI). Was not this Mary’s first step? Should not this also be a reiterated step in our lives?
In the conversion of Magdalene, there was much love: she did not spare any perfumes for her Love. Love!: here is another "vehicle" of faith, because we neither hear, nor see or believe whom we do not love. In John’s Gospel it clearly appears «believing is to listen and, at the same time, to see (...)». In that dawn, María Magdalena takes risks for her Love, she listens to her Love (to hear Him saying "Mary" is enough for her to recognize Him) and she meets the Father. «On the morning of Easter (...), María Magdalena, is asked to contemplate Him as He ascends to the Father, and finally to her full confession "I have seen the Lord" (Jn 20:18)» (Pope Francis).