John 20:11-18 Reflection: Looking For Jesus

A reading from the gospel according to John 20:11-18:

11 Mary Magdalene 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 went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.

Points for Reflection:

1. Mary’s love for Jesus extends to the tomb. Mary was from a certain place called Magdala. The moment she was cleansed by Jesus of seven demons (Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9), she became a devoted follower and according to our gospel reading above, she was privileged to be the first witness of the resurrection.

2. Jesus calls Mary by name. Everyone is special to Jesus. He calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1). May we value our name as something worthy of divine calling.

3. Why are you weeping? The grief of Mary Magdalene is understandable. His master, healer and Lord was innocently crucified. Now His dead body is nowhere to be found! Yet the Lord was there to give her the assurance that He is alive. Some of us are aggrieved by the loss of a loved one. We become confused and disheartened. We weep but Jesus is asking the same question. Why are you weeping? This is a reminder for us that physical death is just a way to the world beyond.

4. Who are you looking for? Mary Magdalene was looking for the dead body of Jesus. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to find it because it wasn’t there anymore. Let us reflect on that. Perhaps we are also looking for something that is not there or someone who isn’t there. Let us make sure we are seeking for Jesus who is alive.

5. Mary recognized Jesus. May we have the eyes of faith to see Jesus and make Him Lord and king in all aspect of our life. May we also recognize His presence in people especially the poor like gardeners, farmers and beggars.

6. Stop holding on to me or touch me not. Jesus has risen from the dead. He is alive now. He is now telling us, as He had told Mary, to stop clinging to the crucified and buried body and instead focus on the glorified Jesus. Let us move on from our old ways into the new dawn of relating to Him and to one another. Let us stop weeping and instead ask Him to turn our mess into message and our wounds into witness.

7. I have seen the Lord. This was the initial message of Mary to the doubting apostles. Yes, she has become the first witness to testify on the truth of the resurrection. For us who have seen the risen Lord through the eyes of faith, let us go forth and boldly tell others about it.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection


  1. “Let us stop weeping and instead ask Him to turn our mess into message and our wounds into witness.” This great Roy!! I will be adopting this one…Thanks💕

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