Daily Gospel Reflection - Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Bishop Robert Barron
Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Gospel: Jn 20:1, 11-18
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. 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.”
Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. 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.” 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. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we celebrate the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the first witness of Christ’s rising, who declared the Resurrection to the Apostles.
In point of fact, the Easter declaration, properly understood, has always been and still is an explosion, an earthquake, a revolution. For the Easter faith is that Jesus of Nazareth, who had been brutally put to death by the Roman authorities, is alive again through the power of the Holy Spirit—and not in some metaphorical sense.
That the Resurrection is a literary device or a symbol that Jesus’ cause goes on is a fantasy born in the faculty lounges of Western universities over the past couple of centuries. The still startling claim of the first witnesses is that Jesus rose bodily from death, presenting himself to his disciples to be seen, even handled.
The hope of ancient Israel was the unification of heaven and earth in a great marriage. Recall a central line from the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the powerful sign that the two orders are in fact coming together.