John presents the situation to us by saying, "It was still darkness. It was in the darkness that Mary Magdalene chose to search, without any hope, because everything was beyond her. Yet, there was a force of love, a force yet unknown to her, that moved her to do this act of love, to leave her home and go to the tomb. True love is capable of doing anything. It was not only her love, but also the Holy Spirit, who wanted her to go to the tomb, for an exceptional encounter.
Every encounter transforms us. A woman in love is called to become the first witness of the resurrection, the first person chosen by the Lord to announce the resurrection. Everything did not happen by chance. Everything was planned and Mary learned not only to listen, but also to obey. Each one of us must listen to this inner voice that speaks to us and also from outside, through events, known and unknown people, etc. Mary had the courage to come out of her own sadness and go towards others. An open and courageous woman.
Jesus, who knows her interiority, will raise her from a simple lover to a passionate missionary for the Lord. He does this, through ordinary dialogue, by touching her sensitivity, "Woman, why are you crying", as if He did not know why? Very surprisingly, Jesus will let her speak, allow her to take her own time to discover him in freedom, from a stranger, to a gardener and she will finally respond by saying, "Robbouni!" What a transformation and Mary did not yet understand this transformation, for she still wanted to hold Him in a form she was used to. She will learn to know it, by listening to her Master and will become an apostle of the Apostles. The first announcement of the resurrection, "I have seen the Lord!" and He is alive. What a wonderful journey.
Action of the day: Search in love.
HOMILY OF S. GREGORY THE GREAT
ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Mary Magdalene, having come to the tomb without finding the body of the Lord, believed that it had been taken away and brought this news to the disciples. When they came, they saw and believed that it was as she had said. The Gospel immediately notes: After this, the disciples went home. Then it adds: But Mary stood outside, weeping.
In this regard, it is necessary to measure the strength of the love that burned in the soul of this woman, who did not leave the tomb of the Lord, even when the disciples had left it. She looked for the one she could not find, she wept as she sought him, and, ablaze with the fire of her love, she burned with the desire for the one she thought had been taken. That is why she was the only one to see him, who had stayed to look for him, because the effectiveness of a good work depends on perseverance, and the Truth says this: He who perseveres to the end, he will be saved.
So she began by seeking, and found nothing; she persevered in her search, and therefore she had to find; what happened was that her desires grew because of her expectation, and in growing they were able to grasp what they had found. For expectation makes holy desires grow. If waiting makes them fall, they were not true desires. It was with such a love that all those who could reach the truth burned. So David says: My soul thirsts for the living God: when shall I come before the face of God? So the Church says in the Song of Songs: I am wounded with love. And further on, "My soul has fainted.
Woman, why do you cry? Whom do you seek? She is asked the reason for her pain, so that her desire may increase, and by naming the one she was seeking, she may make her love for him more ardent.
Jesus said to her, "Mary. After he had called her by the commonplace word 'woman', without being recognised, he called her by her name. It is as if he is saying to her clearly: "Recognise him by whom you are recognised. I do not know you in general, like others, I know you in a special way. Called by name, Mary therefore recognises her creator and immediately calls him Rabboni, that is to say, Master, because the one she was seeking outwardly was the same one who was teaching her inwardly to seek him.