St. Mary Magdalene
Songs 3:1-4 [or 2 Cor 5:14-17] + John 20:1-2,11-18
… while it was still dark ….
Early in the morning on the first day of the week… that is to say, in the beginning… we see Mary Magdalene huddled at the tomb weeping. We must give her credit for this, since the apostles themselves were not faithful to the Crucified Lord in this way. For ourselves, we pray for the grace to persevere in the midst of suffering, to allow our souls to thirst for Our Lord and God without despair in the midst of suffering. We pray for the ability to hope during those times when we cannot see the Lord present before us.
Only in the midst of such suffering, of such weeping, of such self-emptying, can the Lord be seen clearly, as He calls us by name. We recognize Christ, and we accept the commission He offers us. He has news for Mary Magdalene to report: namely, that He is ascending to His Father and our Father. Perhaps, though, this is even more difficult: to rejoice at someone’s return when he tells you he’s getting ready to leave you forever.
After all, on that Easter morning, who wants to hear about the Ascension? We want to glory in the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead! And yet that is not where Jesus points us. Throughout His life, and in His death, he always points away from Himself toward the Father, even on the very morning of His Resurrection.