SCRIPTURE: John 20:11-20
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 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. 13 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.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 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.’” 18 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.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Nancy Claire Pittman shares that “Scholars often remind us that the resurrection narratives are really commission stories, sending believers out into the world to tell everyone that death is not the last word. Otherwise, no one would ever know what happened, and Easter would be just a reunion story with tears and hugs all around. However, Mary obeys the risen Jesus, fighting her impulse to cling to a familiar body, and leaves the garden to tell what she knows to be true. An expected ending is now a beginning—of telling the truth about life to those who want to deal only in death, of offering living water and the bread of life to those who want only to buy and sell commodities that perish. Mary speaks, and in her speaking, we find our own voice.”
Mary is one of the first to share the full Good News, not just that Jesus had come to earth but that he had risen from the dead after dying for our sins. Can you imagine how she must have felt? And as Pittman points out, “Mary obeys the risen Jesus, fighting her impulse to cling to a familiar body, and leaves the garden to tell what she knows to be true.” Do you carry any similar feelings when opportunities to share the Good News arise? Do you feel compelled to cling to Jesus? Are you able to “leave the garden” and share the Good News, what you know to be true?
Even in this time of social distancing and sheltering at home, we can still connect with and share with others. So, today, try something new and like Mary Magdalene, pass on the good news today to those around you: Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is risen today. Risen Christ, give us the strength, love, compassion, and mercy to always be willing to share the Good News with all we encounter. May what we know to be true in what you did to save the world always lead us to spread the Gospel with love. Amen.