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».
Mary Magdalene, who loved the Lord, wanted to return to Him who is worthy of Him, always keeping her sadness of having lost Him brutally and unjustly. Her love was so deep that she forgot herself and sought her beloved. Staring at the place where the body of her beloved was laid, in all sadness she wept bitterly, for today there is nothing left for her, so that she could mourn, as she should, and complete all that she began and reached today to demonstrate her love. Many of us are feeling the same, particularly in this lockdown.
In her deep sadness she is no longer herself, and she sees nothing but her bitterness. Yet before her own eyes, the angels have taken their own place, covering everything possible from His head to His feet, empty as a desert, as was foreseen right from the beginning of creation, the promised salvation, He is truly risen. They clothed themselves in white, a sign of peace, which shined in the tomb like a bright light. Everything went unnoticed for this lover. Very often we live in the same way in our sadness and brokenness.
She was not abandoned by the Lord, whom she loved and was looking for today. He came back to her, and he called her 'Mary', as he always called her. She heard the voice, a voice she was so used to, that she thought she has lost. She didn't want to lose Him again and she will hold Him as hard and intensely as she can, more than ever before. Many of us have the same approach in life. We hold on something as if it gives life. The day has come for us to give life to others, give hope to others. We have to stop seeking, rather start to giving.
It is here that Jesus is going to entrust her with a mission so dear to Him, the mission that His Father entrusted to Him, and He did not want to lose even 'one'. She is going to run, leaving the Lord there, with the certainty of having him for an eternity and for ever, towards his disciples, to announce to them that He has truly risen and I had seen him. What a testimony and what love! Today I invite you to express our love for the Lord like Her, with certainty, and let us welcome the mission that He is going to entrust to us.
Action of the day: be a messenger of the Lord.
«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!