The Appearance to Mary of Magdala
A man came out and drunk from a bar and was combing the area around an electric post. A curious passerby asked what he was doing. “I am looking for my key,” mumbled the man. The passerby joined the search. Another man also passed by and joined the two in turning over leaf, stones, etc. One of them asked the unsteady man: “Where did you really lose your key?” Pointing to the bar, he replied: “There!” And why on earth are we looking at here?” he shouted. “Because there is light here!” countered the drunk man.
In relation to our gospel passage today, we are told that Mary of Magdala has sought her Lord. At first, she does not recognize the Risen Lord because her focus is not on Him but on the empty tomb and on her grief. Like her too, many of us seek the Lord in the wrong places like: in alcohol, in pleasures, wealth, luxury and power. But you know what the empty tomb is a fundamental dogma of the Church. It is because, as St. Paul writes (1Cor 15:14): “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain!” Remove this doctrine and all the contents of the Apostles’ Creed will fall like a full house of cards! Catechism of the Catholic Church added also by teaching us that the bodily rising of Jesus from the dead on the third day after His death on the cross and burial in the tomb. The resurrection of Christ is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, (no. 638).
One word is enough for Mary to recognize the Risen Lord when He called her by her name and then reminds her of her mission to announce the good news of His resurrection to His disciples. And her message to them is: “I have seen the Lord!” It is because it is not enough that we know about the Lord, but that we know Him personally. It is not enough to argue about Him but to meet Him. In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord who loves us personally and shares his glory with us.
Like Mary, we have a mission to do and that is, to announce the good news of His resurrection to all our brothers and sisters:
First, like Mary we are told to share the good news. Jesus wants us to go out and share this newly found reality of His resurrection. It cannot be hoarded within. Whenever we experience the risen Lord, we have to immediately go off and tell the others. We must be willing to share our faith, otherwise it will not grow. It is because people are thirsting for this good news. Hudson Taylor added too by saying: “I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up asking Him to do His work through me.”
Second, the resurrection of Jesus is our hope. It is a hope that someday we will see God face to face and share in His everlasting glory. St Peter said: “Without having seen Him you love Him; though you do not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls,” (1Pt 1:8-9).
At the end let us pray to God that we will be protected from Satan’s attacks on our faith and calling, tempting us to quit and go home. Let us pray that God may protect us from getting so busy doing things for Him that we forget to sit and listen to Him. Let us pray to Him that He may protect us from losing our spirit of worship, love and devotion to Him; from divisiveness, criticism and crankiness with each other; from misinterpreting each other’s motives; from fighting, jealousy and clamoring for position. So help us, God.