Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
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.
Our church today celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the disciple who followed Jesus through his earthly ministry and, in today’s Gospel, was the first to encounter the risen Christ. Mary returns to the tomb to prepare Jesus’s body according to Jewish burial customs of the time. While the other disciples see the empty tomb and leave, Mary remains, weeping for her beloved Jesus. It is here, in the midst of her suffering, that Jesus comes to her. It is not until Jesus says her name that she recognizes that he is the Lord.
Isn’t this what we all want: to be called by name by someone who we love? Jesus spoke to Mary, inviting her to rethink the relationship she had with him. He tells her to “stop holding on to [him],” and sends her on a mission to tell the other disciples. Mary goes from being someone who followed Jesus to someone sent out to spread the good news to others.
How are we being invited to be like Mary Magdalene? How can we take the words of Jesus that we have received and take them out into the world?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
St. Mary Magdalene, you followed Jesus throughout his ministry and were the first to see him after his Resurrection. Intercede for us that we may be open to Jesus’s call in our lives so that we can follow him as true disciples. Amen
—The Jesuit Prayer team