by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
March 31, 2013
According to John's story, Mary Magdalene is the first to go to the tomb, while it's still dark, and, heartbroken, she discovers that it's empty. She misses Jesus, the Master who understood and healed her, the Prophet who she had faithfully followed to the end. Who will she follow now? So she laments to the disciples: "They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we know not where they have laid him."
Mary's words could express the experience of many Christians today: What have we done with the risen Jesus? Who took him away? Where did we put him? The Lord in whom we believe, is he a Christ full of life or a Christ whose memory is dying out little by little in our hearts?
It's wrong that we seek "proof" to believe more firmly. It's not enough to lean on Church teachings. It's useless to look into the expositions of the theologians. To meet the Risen One, it is necessary, first of all, to make an inward journey. If we don't find him in ourselves, we won't find him anywhere.
A little later, John describes Mary running around looking for some information. And when she sees Jesus, blinded by grief and tears, she doesn't recognize him. She thinks he's the gardener. Jesus only asks her one question: "Woman, why are you crying? Who do you seek?"
Perhaps we should ask ourselves something similar. Why is our faith so sad sometimes? What is ultimately the reason for this lack of joy among us? What are we Christians today seeking? What do we long for? Are we looking for the Jesus we need to feel full of life in our communities?
According to the story, Jesus is talking with Mary, but she doesn't know it's Jesus. Then Jesus calls her by her name, with the same kindness in his voice as when they used to walk through Galilee, "Mary!" She turns around quickly, "Rabbuni, Master".
Mary meets the Risen One when she feels personally called by him. That's how it is. Jesus is revealed to us full of life when we feel called by our own name and hear his invitation to each one of us. It's then that our faith grows.
We won't revive our faith in the risen Christ by feeding it only from outside. We won't meet him, if we don't seek living contact with him. Probably, it's the love for Jesus known through the Gospels and personally sought in the depths of our hearts, that can best lead us to meet the Risen One.