Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Contemplating the Resurrection
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels … they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father … ‘” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” … Jn 20,11-18
Today, pausing to ponder this passage from the evangelist John, we are struck by the fact that Mary Magdalene has seen and recognized Jesus only after having turned away her glance from the tomb. “We too – one day father Thomas Beck shouted from the altar – as long as we continue to contemplate our graves, our mistakes, our failures, our illnesses, our problems, will not realize that the Lord is risen, that he is alive and he is next to us”. How this is true! How long we lose to contemplate our graves being unable to look up and see, over it, the resurrections! This is the first wonderful teaching of the gospel of today, but there is also a second one. Why Mary Magdalene, when she looks up, does not immediately recognize the Master? Clearly because he had not the same appearance as when he walked on the streets of the Palestine. The resurrection has not made him equal to the one he was before, but it transformed him by making him as for the time when he remains physically still in the world. Any resurrection from our graves is not a return back, but it is a go ahead by a transformation, as st. Paul says, from glory to glory, up to the ultimate glory! By taking back these considerations into our daily lives, we can draw a great lesson: it can be useful to look, from time to time, even to our graves, to have a realistic view of the human vicissitudes, but our eye should have to be routinely turned up, in search of the signs of the resurrection and of the Lord’s presence in our life.