Gospel: Jn 20:11-18
Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have put him.”
As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and answered him, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to him, “Rabboni!”which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch 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, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God.”
So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me.”
The resurrection accounts in all the four gospels have similarities and elements that are unique. Perhaps the mystery was too great for early followers to comprehend that different facets of the account are needed to form a picture of what really happened. But one thing for sure, the role of Mary Magdalene cannot be discounted. This woman who exhibited quiet strength and patient endurance in the face of her Master’s demise has been rewarded with the honor of encountering the Risen Lord first. She in turn will bring this good news to the apostles of the Lord.
And this is love’s reward, to see and experience magical moments with the beloved that will never be repeated again. Mary Magdalene could not control herself from grasping that moment in her hand. She wants to preserve that moment and own it forever. But Jesus Christ told her to share it with His brothers who are still in the dark of His resurrection. That moment with the Risen Lord may be hers, but it is not for her to keep.