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.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing the Easter sequence, Victimae Paschali Laudes, proclaiming the Resurrection, and telling the story of Mary’s visit to the empty tomb, where the linen-cloths lay, cast-off on the ground.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
In this passage, Mary Magdalene experiences a roller-coaster of emotions. At the beginning, she is grieving for her lost friend, and for the hopes that were also lost when he was killed. What is there in your own experience that tells you what that is like?
Move forward to the moment when Jesus says just one word, her name, “Mary!”. That’s the moment when she recognises him. How would that feel?
Jesus then does something very typical. He gives someone who is close to him something to do. Mary has to go and tell Jesus’ other friends what she has seen and heard. Can you recognise in your own life something that Jesus calls you to do, a job that he counts on you for?
As the gospel story is read again, try to stay with Mary’s feelings at each stage of the unfolding drama.
Imagine Jesus standing before you now, saying just one word, your own name. How do you want to respond to him when he does that?