July 22, 2019

Gospel JN 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.
Reflection:
On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
The other apostles and followers of Jesus were in hiding, fearful that, like Jesus, they too would be captured and crucified.
But ever loyal and filled with faith in Jesus, Mary Magdalene overcame her fear and ventured alone into the dark to be close to her Lord.
Mary Magdalene is our example that “faith is the antidote to fear.”
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
We have all heard of thieves who ravage a person’s grave for valuables. But, in this case, Jesus’ body was missing.
It’s difficult to imagine Mary’s agony thinking that someone had taken her Lord’s body. I can almost hear the total despair and panic in her voice as she cried out “…..and we don’t know where they put him.”
Peering into the tomb, Mary “saw two angels in white” sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
Can I even begin to imagine my reaction to seeing two angels with my own eyes and then to have them speak to me?
“She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
Mary was so completely engaged in trying to find Jesus that she showed no reaction or fear at the sight and voices of angels speaking to her.
Oh, that I should have such complete commitment and focus on finding Jesus.
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
In her determination to find Him, Mary did not recognize Jesus upon seeing Him face to face.
I can sympathize with Mary. At times, I too have been so intent on doing the Lord’s work that I have failed to see Jesus in the faces of those who I am serving in His name.
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
It was only at the sound of Jesus’ voice saying her name that Mary Magdalene recognized her Lord. How true is the sound of a loved one saying your name.
Even in this modern age, if your cell phone rings and your true love’s name shows on your phone you still know immediately if it’s not your loved one’s voice.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.
Is it any wonder that Mary Magdalene is often referred to as “The Apostle to the Apostles?”
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” John 4:18