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 around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Putting on our imagination cap, our Gospel today is one easily entered. This scene of Mary Magdalene grieving her lost friend is one we can empathize with, if not know intimately in our own journey. St. Ignatius understood the revelation of scripture not as mere proof text, as though to calculate finite solutions.
Rather, revelation of truth is discovered in the midst of my imagination, allowing the Holy Spirit to couple my own experience, my own memory, my own vision, with the wisdom of scripture. Try it. Place yourself in today’s Gospel scene. Allow yourself to be Mary Magdalene, weeping in loss. And invite this truly beautiful encounter with your friend Jesus, as He asks, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
Pause, and be present to this interaction in the depths of your imagination. How would you react to this question from this yet unrecognized person? And then, as the Spirit moves, the transcendent moment: the recognition of Christ in our midst. Ignatius has us beg for this free gift Mary receives, to experience the resurrection of the Easter promise. Can you beg for this grace? As we continue our Easter celebration, can we, like Mary, beg for the grace to see more clearly the resurrected Christ in our midst, this Christ who desires to encounter us in our very life.
—Matthew Couture is the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuits’ provincial assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education
Lord, when Mary Magdalene seeks you in the tomb, her heart is shattered. Her weeping comes from the pit of her soul. Yet when you speak her name, Mary knows you live. Today you will speak our name. Help us to grasp the incredible reality of your message to Mary. “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Despite the upheaval in our own life or the life of those we love, we ask that our hope be anchored in your resurrection and in our Father and our God.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!