I was happy to see that today’s Gospel reading was this story of the empty tomb as we remember Mary Magdalene today. Empty tomb stories remind me that the resurrection isn’t just a story for Easter Sunday, or even just for Sunday for that matter (every Sunday is a little Easter). No. The resurrection is a story for every day, even Wednesday as we find ourselves in the middle of another week that has brought its own trials and challenges as well as (hopefully) joys. As Christians, we are people of the resurrection, and we live every day in the light of the good news of this story that reminds us that Jesus has overcome all that would chain us down – even death. So what does the resurrection mean for Wednesday, July 22nd? Here are a few important insights for you to take with you today from this story.
1. Mary does not expect resurrection
Upon witnessing the resurrection, the angels ask Mary why she is crying. Of course, we know that she is sad because she has lost a dear friend. In fact, the last few days had been very trying and turbulent for her and all of Jesus’ close followers. But the angels’ question is rhetorical, as if to suggest that she has no reason to cry. The Good News overcomes her sadness by witnessing to the fact that God’s love will overcome anything that fills us with despair.
What makes you or others cry today?
How might we find comfort in the resurrection knowing that these things that cause us suffering are not the end of the story?
2. Mary does not recognize Jesus
It seems kind of weird that Mary does not recognize Jesus, the one who she is looking for, and mistakes him for a gardener. And yet we often fail to recognize Jesus in our world today, even though we may be looking for him. Mary does not recognize Jesus until he calls her by name. Similarly, Jesus calls each of us by name every day as we are claimed in Baptism as God’s beloved children.
What might cause us to fail to recognize Jesus in our world today?
What might help you find Jesus in the world today?
3. Mary is sent to tell others
The story does not end simply with Mary finding comfort in knowing Jesus is raised. Instead, she is sent by him to share this good news with others. I can imagine her joy as she rushes back to her friends to tell them the good news that she has seen their dear friend who they were grieving over in recent days. Of course, not everyone will believe their testimony as they tell others, but surely Mary and her friends were so overcome with joy that they couldn’t help telling others.
How does the Good News make a difference in your life?
How might you be called to share this joy with others today?
How would you tell someone else the good news that you have seen the Lord? Why does it matter?
Share your thoughts and reflections below. And the peace of the risen Christ be with you always!