Reflection - Easter Sunday 2011
On this great feast of the Resurrection, let's take a look at Mary Magdalen who walks into the empty tomb. Mary Magdalen had to have gone there with a myriad of feelings swirling about in her heart. This seems a little strange until we realize that she functions as witnesses to the dramatic opening of the tomb.
The Risen Jesus, unrecognized to Mary, asks two important questions for Mary Magdalene and for us as well. "Why are you weeping, ___?" Insert your own name. For me personally, "Why are you weeping, Helen? Why are you weeping at the graves of family and friends? Jesus asks all of us the same questions. Jesus asks another question of us, "Who are you looking for?" "Whom are you looking for, _?" Insert your own name again. That also is a question that Jesus often asks of us: "Who are we looking for? What are we looking for?" Frequently in life, we appear to be driven by some inner quest. Jesus makes us stop and asks each one of us, "What are you really looking for?"
There are certainly hundreds, if not thousands, of lessons for today's Christian from the resurrection event. God keeps God's word, Jesus' trust in God brought him fullness of life, death is never the end-are only a few. But during this year of terrorism, continued economic instability, war, the persecution of Christians in Egypt, Iraq, China and elsewhere, and the on-going struggles of Libya and Afghanistan we might find that we are walking in Mary Magdalene's shoes—that we also find the resurrection impossible to imagine in our world today, and thus, we no longer expect to witness it.
Mary Magdalene is, by all accounts, an official apostolic witness of the resurrection. She is the only person in this Gospel to receive an individual Easter appearance and a personal and individual commission from Jesus. The meaning, and John's formulation of the Easter message are given only to her, and she communicates it to the church. Jesus' commission of liberating and healing our communities and the whole of creation is given to us today, just as it was to Mary Magdalene. . May all of you receive abundance of blessing in our 'celebration' of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
On Easter Sunday, after 40 days of reflection on the passion and death of Jesus Christ, we now celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. But more than that, we celebrate our own resurrection to new life in Jesus, through our faith and our Baptism. In what way have you experienced the new life that Jesus came to give you through his death and resurrection?
Mary Magdalene was a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. She had confidence that she had a mission in being called to announce the Good News. How would you describe your own belief in the resurrection of Jesus? How does your "belief" make a difference in your everyday life?
— Helen Martinez, PBVM