Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene
(Micah 7:14-15.18-20; John 20:1-2.11-18)
When George Harrison sang, “I really want to see you, Lord,” he struck a deep chord within many of us. We want to see Jesus risen from the dead, verify that our faith is not a pipedream, and know that he is worth the efforts we make to believe. We are not unlike Mary Magdalene in today’s gospel.
When Mary realizes that it is Jesus she is talking to, she wants to hold onto him. She is evidently thinking that Jesus, returned to life, will be like he was before – the teacher who lifted his disciples from the trivialities of life to know God’s rich purpose for them. Jesus must correct her. The meaning of his resurrection is not a mere physical reunion with his friends, but a spiritual presence to the whole world through his ascension and sending forth of the Spirit. Then he bestows on Mary the privilege of being the first to announce this message.
We should not dwell long on the desire to see Jesus but prepare ourselves to announce to others the message he gave Mary. Of course, it may be useless to use words, at least at first, but let us preach with our actions. Our joy, peace, and charity signal to those who know us that what we believe about Jesus having risen and ascended for our salvation is true.