Photo: Penitent Magdalene. By Caravaggio. 1597
March 25 — Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Readings: Acts 2:36-41; Jn 20:11-18
Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what He told her. Jn 20:18
We continue to touch the extraordinary on this Tuesday of Easter Week. Yesterday we read about the witness of the apostles to the Resurrection, but we can't overlook the witness of Mary Magdalene as "the apostle to the apostles." She is the first one to announce to the apostles and all of the disciples that she has seen the Lord risen from the dead!
And women had no legal standing as witnesses in the Jewish society of the day. Why did Jesus choose Mary Magdalene for this honor?
The great Scripture scholar William Barclay believes that Mary was chosen because of her great love of Jesus. He writes, "The whole [account] is scattered with indications of her love. She had come back to the tomb. (See Jn 20:1-10.) She had taken her message to Peter and John, and then must have been left behind in their race to the tomb so that by the time she got there, they were gone. So she stood there weeping. There is no need to seek for elaborate reasons why Mary did not know Jesus. The simple and poignant fact is that she did not see Him through her tears."
In a scene of tender love, Mary recognizes Jesus, whom she mistook for the gardener, when He calls her by name and she responds, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher (v. 16).
What does this Resurrection account mean for us?
"In [the] message of Mary, there is the very essence of Christianity," Barclay sums up, "for a Christian is essentially one who can say: 'I have seen the Lord.' Christianity does not mean knowing about Jesus; it means knowing Him. It does not mean arguing about Him; it means meeting Him. It means the certainty of experience that Jesus is alive."
O Lord Jesus, I want to love You in a deeper way as I celebrate Your Resurrection. Especially in Holy Communion, may I truly meet You. Alleluia! Amen.
Diary of St. Faustina