A reading from the gospel of John 20:1-2, 11-18
1 On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
11 Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
12 and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been.
13 And 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.”
14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
15 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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going 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 then reported what he told her.
Reflection: Why are you weeping? Stop holding on to me.
Good News: Rejoice! Jesus is Alive.
Although Jesus already mentioned his passion, death and resurrection, it did not sink in with Mary Magdalene and the other disciples. That was why she thought Jesus’ body was stolen when she saw the empty tomb. She was weeping when the risen Lord appeared to her.
Why are you weeping? This is a poignant question thrown not only to Mary Magdalene but also to us in modern times. We may have many justified reasons for weeping but we must never forget that Jesus have been raised from death to life! For that fact alone, we have reason to rejoice because we now know that death is not the end but a way through. We are now assured of victory over suffering or injustice.
“Stop holding on to me”, Jesus told Mary Magdalene. He was telling her, “Come on. I am done with my mission. I am going home to my Father and your Father. It is now your turn to continue.”
In life, we go through difficulties, disappointments, breakups and other untold sorrows. But life must go on. We rise from setbacks and be happy. We pick-up the broken pieces and continue with the journey. One of most common reasons why people are not happy is because they do not know how to move on.
Certainly, we don’t have control over our life. That is why we need to let God be in control. As they say, let go and let God. We may have strong convictions about certain things but if we let God take control, we will gain the freedom to be ourselves, corns and all.
Let us learn from Mary Magdalene, a woman of bad repute but her courage and faithfulness to Jesus gave her the privilege to be the first person to witness the resurrection. Moreover, she was given the mission to proclaim it to Jesus’ inner circle of friends. No wonder she is now a saint and she is considered as the “Apostle of the apostles”. Indeed, it does not matter what people think of us. We are sinful and weak but let us love with all our hearts and minds. That is more important than reputation.
The mission of Mary Magdalene is also our mission. Let us go, tell and show to others that Jesus is alive in our lives.