Tuesday, September 4, 2018
[After looking into the empty tomb] the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary Magdalene 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). – John 20:10-16
In this account of Easter morning, we can behold in vivid detail the human experience of grieving. Grief is not so much sadness, but rather emptiness, a searching for that someone or something that has been snatched out of one’s life. It is the shock of apparent loss; it is the wound left by detachment; it is the anxiety of disorientation. It is a very human experience, an experience that accompanies the experience of love. So the angels and the Lord ask Mary Magdalene the question, “Why are you weeping?” This is not a question arising from their not understanding and this is not a chastisement under the guise of a question. This is a question the angels and Christ know that Mary Magdalene needs to answer for the sake of her moving on.
Why are you weeping, Mary? They have snatched away this one I love. They have taken him away from me. I am searching for him but I can’t seem to find him. And there is the question that those grieving must ask and eventually answer … where can I find my loved one?
Mary Magdalene became an Evangeline for the Church. She is recognized as a saint. And it is told that she was a bringer of the Love of Christ to many. So she did find Him, not only in a voice that she recognized but in the living remembrance that continued to inspire her life. We have no record of Mary Magdalene weeping after this moment, though I sense she often did. But she lived on … because what she thought had been taken away from her had not been taken away at all.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz