Mary Magdalene 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 went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.
Happy Easter to you and your family! This week we celebrate every day as if it were Easter Sunday because this is a pivotal feast day in the lives of every Christian. Without the resurrection of Jesus from the dead we would have no hope. But since He has risen and conquered death, we who put our faith in Him have hope for our own resurrection from the dead one day. That should bring us great joy and should impact the way we live our lives today in 2013.
This week we will be reading different Gospel accounts of the resurrection and how it affected the early Christian community. Today’s gospel reading gives us the account of Mary Magdalene encountering two angels in the tomb where Jesus had been lain to rest. She is weeping because she thinks someone has stolen Jesus’ body. Even though she and the other disciples had heard Jesus teach about rising from the dead, they didn’t really comprehend what He was talking about.
As she is talking with the angels, she turns around and encounters the risen Lord. She doesn’t recognize Him at first. Maybe she was so shocked and wasn’t expecting to see Jesus… Or maybe Jesus’ resurrected body was different in some way… Whatever the reason, we know that Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Jesus until He said her name, “Mary”. Our name is so important to us. God has formed us in our mother’s womb. He knows us so intimately. And He calls us each by name. When Jesus calls Mary by her name, she immediately recognizes Him.
Do I hear Jesus calling my name?
Do I recognize Him around me today?
In her excitement, Mary tries to hold on to Jesus. We probably would do the same thing if we saw one of our loved ones rise from the dead. But Jesus tells Mary that He must return to the Father. He must do this in order to send the Holy Spirit among us, to be present to every person around the world. And Jesus tells her to tell the others about His resurrection from the dead.
Mary went with joy to spread the Good News to the other disciples.
Do I encounter the risen Lord in the Sacraments, in others, in the every day happenings of life?
Do I share these important encounters with others?
We are not meant to hold to ourselves the Good News. Jesus wants us to share it with others. In this way, we encourage one another in this journey toward heaven. Life can be very challenging, but that is why we need community to help us along the way.