When We Find the Empty Tomb
It’s strange to think of a world without the Risen Jesus.
After all, JPII says, “We are an Easter People”, so we were created to know and live in the light of the Resurrection. But what does that really mean?
I can sometimes live as if the Risen Lord doesn’t exist. Like His body still rests in the tomb, like His promises have not yet been fulfilled, and at times I can even live as if He has no intention of keeping those promises. Honestly, I’ve written, prayed, and discussed this many times before, and I still struggle to live in the reality of our Living God.
But then I remember Mary Magdelene.
A woman who had been tormented by demons. A woman who undoubtedly questioned her worth because of her past. A woman who anointed the feet of our Lord and poured out everything.
The first person to whom Jesus appeared.
And we know that He always acts with purpose.
Even with her great devotion to Jesus, she still did not recognize Him when He appeared to her. She didn’t recognize Him as she wept in search of Him.
I’ve never related to something so much in my life.
How many times do I fall into hopelessness over my troubles, or my sins, or my past? All while the One I long for stands right before me.
The first few times I read this passage I was a little confused when Mary finally realizes it’s Jesus and he says, “Stop clinging to Me...”. She thought her Lord was lost forever, so why would He be so quick to have her step back? But as I pondered more deeply, I was confronted with truth - my relationship with Jesus exists for more than to simply reside within myself.
Jesus told Mary to go and be the first to share the Gospel, the good news, sharing this knowledge that our God, who does in fact keep His promises, lives.
What an incredible mission given to someone who didn’t even know who she was speaking to moments before. And how much more incredible it is that we are tasked with the same thing and live as an Easter People.
But it’s important to know that Jesus didn’t only show up and tell Mary to go tell the others. Each time Jesus reveals Himself to someone searching, He provides healing. We see this with Bartimaeus- the blind beggar, the woman who hemorrhaged, and the woman at the well. He gave some physical healing, some emotional, and all spiritual. But what did He heal in Mary Magdalene?
Like most of us before encountering Jesus, Mary was anxious, concerned, sad. She wept at the loss of her friend, teacher, and Lord, probably wondering if she’d ever see Him again, even if it was solely His body.
I am convinced that Jesus healed Mary from despair.
Something that can reside so deeply inside us, it can feel impossible to abolish.
But with a singular call of her name, she knew she was seen, known, and loved.
So, I invite you, as we continue to venture through this beautiful Easter Season, to never lose hope in your search for what is good, true, and beautiful. Even when all seems lost, and we are struck with a blindness in our hearts, Jesus calls and sends us to receive and share the good news.
Our Lord is alive. Alleluia, alleluia.
Image:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fritz_von_Uhde_-_Noli_me_tangere_(1894).jpg, public domain.
4/27/2023 12:19:04 pm
We are so glad you found this to be encouraging, Angela! You definitely are hitting on something so relatable!
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