Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, April 23, 2011 (abbreviated)

John 20: 11-18 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending 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 she told them that he had said these things to her.

1 comment:

  1. Mary Magdalene, who stayed at the doorway of the tomb weeping for her beloved Jesus, was the first person to see something where before there was nothing. First she saw two angels in white, “sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying,” then she saw the resurrected Jesus. Although she did not recognize him when first she saw him, she knew it was Jesus when he called her by name. Which reminds me of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees earlier in John’s gospel: “… the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…. They follow him for they know his voice” (10:3,4) It was Mary who recognized Jesus’ voice. And then the risen Jesus did the most extraordinary thing – he closed the gap between himself and the disciples when he explained to Mary, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Jesus was and is the reconciliation of humanity and divinity and he sent Mary to tell the others.

    In John’s gospel Mary Magdalene was truly the first apostle; the first to recognize the risen Lord and the first one sent to deliver Jesus’ message to the disciples. Whereas the other disciples “returned to their homes” after finding Jesus’ tomb empty, Mary remained, looking for something in the midst of nothing, weeping and continuing to seek her Lord Jesus. Mary succumbed to the depth of her loss and in the midst of her sorrow new light and life arose. Out of the suffering and death of Jesus the Light of Christ arose. Out of the weeping and suffering of Mary the Risen Christ was recognized.

    Mary’s ‘religious experience,’ her experience of the risen Christ did not stop with her. Her experience moved her to action, to be a witness, to go and tell the others, Christ is risen, he is risen indeed. May I be compelled to do likewise.