The first to experience Easter
To the editor:
In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene on Easter morning is the first to go alone to Jesus’ tomb. Her love for Jesus draws her back to where she saw his body laid.
Mary had walked with Jesus in his lifetime; he had liberated her from her own demons, she had listened to his preaching and his parables and shared many meals with him. He welcomed Mary into his community of followers and she was very devout in her belief in Christ.
When she reaches the tomb she is overwhelmed with grief, and shocked that the body is not there as she left it. She does not understand at this time that Jesus has risen and she remains at the tomb weeping, utterly confused.
Mary finally looks inside the tomb and sees two angels. She still doesn’t understand that Christ has risen so she questions the angels on where the body is located. They respond to her as to why she is weeping. She leaves the tomb still confused and then Jesus appears to her and she believes he is a gardener. It is then that Christ gently says her name, Mary; instantly her confusion and weeping are turned into joy and she recognizes him and calls him by his title, Rabbi.
Jesus tells her he is returning back to God and insists that she let him go. Mary is overwhelmed with joy and returns to the other disciples, declaring to them, “I have seen the Lord.”
This is when Easter comes to all of humanity from this point on and Christ’s victory over death becomes our path to salvation.
As a personal reflection, I can see that Mary Magdalene’s search for Jesus is much like our own and the finding of our Savior happens when we hear him gently speak our name. May we all have a joy-filled Easter and, like Mary, let us rejoice that we have found our risen Lord.