Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A. Memorial of Mary Magdalene, Disciple of the Lord. 22nd July 2017.
Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been turned away 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 had laid him.” But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” 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, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
John 20:1-2, 11-16
In today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene comes looking for a dead body; our Lord Jesus Christ’s corspe. She had come out to the tomb that morning for one purpose: to finish the prescribed burial customs for Jesus. His body had been placed in the tomb hurriedly on Friday evening, for it was almost sundown and the Passover feast was near. Passover and Sabbath now complete; it was time to anoint the body and finish all the usual customs. Tramautized from Our Lord’s Crucifixion and Death, she took it upon herself to perform such rite, probably out of kindness and love for her “Rabboni”. But to her surprise, she found the stone already rolled away and no body. In fear, she runs to tell the disciples of her findings. In grief, she stays back weeping, failing to see the Good News of our Lord’s Resurrection immediately.
But Mary Magdalene shows us how perseverance can turn fear into faith. Like the bride in the Song of Solomon (3:1-4) who sought Him who her soul loves and found Him not, Mary Magdalene sought for Our Lord Jesus in tears and inflamed with the fire of love, longing to see the One she thought they had taken away, she remained there with the exception of finding Him. And scarcely had the angels asked her, “Woman why are you weeping”, had she found Jesus.
Most times, we live in dismay and become soo filled with worries and doubt to the extent we lose faith and in losing such faith, the risen Christ dies in our hearts. Discouragement and darkness begins to penetrate our souls. When we finally try to seek Him again, it becomes hard because in all despair, it seems we ‘carried him away’ from ourselves. We become spiritually blind. But Our Lord Jesus is everliving, He is always close at hand and today He asks each and every one of us, “Whom do you seek?” He calls us by our names so that our eyes might open to the reality of his Resurrection and the joy He brings.
Let us like the bride in today’s first reading, go in search of Him whom our soul loves for we will always find Jesus whom we seek. Like Mary Magdalene, let us persevere in seeking Him in every circumstance of our lives for He is always very much in touch with the events of our life though we may not be aware of Him. And by doing this, may our faith grow stronger as we be authentic Disciples of the Lord and become witness to our Lord’s saving grace and healing power His Resurrection gives.