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.
I have always been a fan of this reading for two main reasons. For one, today’s Gospel reading from John exemplifies how important women were in the early church. It was a woman who first spread the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. Women have and continue to hold preeminent place in our Church!
The second reason I love this passage is that it is here where “the point” of Jesus’ life’s work is revealed to the world. His rising from the dead shows people everywhere that nothing can separate human beings from God’s love. Even the world’s most heinous and violent of deaths fails to surmount the love God has for us. In a world that seems void of any sense of justice and normalcy, we can look to the empty tomb to hear God’s final say on it all.
—Michael Petterson is a senior at the University of Michigan and is an active member of St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI.
God of love and mercy, you raised the broken body of Jesus to new life with you. In the many ways I am broken, in my moments of darkness, remind me of your unceasing love and raise me to your side. For your greater glory, Amen.
—Michael PettersonPlease share the Good Word with your friends!