Tuesday within the Octave of Easter Week
(Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18)
In coming to know God, most people go through a gradual process. They learn as children that God is a “Supreme Being who knows all things.” As they read Scripture, they conclude that God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the universe. Some, perhaps at the end of their lives, come to the realization that God is an unfathomable mystery – Being itself that has been revealed in Jesus Christ as caring individually for each human person like a loving father. In today’s gospel we see Mary Magdalene going through a similar development in coming to know the resurrected Jesus.
Mary has returned to the tomb where she earlier discovered Jesus missing. Remembering his goodness and perhaps saddened because she cannot see his dead body, she weeps. Then she turns to see a man whom she believes is a gardener. Jesus has shown himself to be just that when he told his disciples that he has pruned them with his word (John 15.3). Mary then recognizes Jesus for his earthly role as teacher or “Rabbouni” as Jesus demonstrated through the course of the gospel. Finally, in relating her experience to Jesus’ disciples, Mary comes to the insight that Jesus is “Lord,” not just their earthly master but he who reigns over all creation.
Jesus’ resurrection like his Incarnation and his participation in the threefold God is a mystery that humans will never plumb. But we can come to greater appreciation of its meaning if we humbly give ourselves to adoration every year. Easter for children is the wonder of a hunt for eggs. For the middle-aged it is the challenge of living the faith in a cynical world. For the elderly it is the hope that life is not receding but indeed coming to full flower.