Our church today celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the disciple who followed Jesus through his earthly ministry and, in today’s Gospel, was the first to encounter the risen Christ. Mary returns to the tomb to prepare Jesus’s body according to Jewish burial customs of the time. While the other disciples see the empty tomb and leave, Mary remains, weeping for her beloved Jesus. It is here, in the midst of her suffering, that Jesus comes to her. It is not until Jesus says her name that she recognizes that he is the Lord.
Isn’t this what we all want: to be called by name by someone who we love? Jesus spoke to Mary, inviting her to rethink the relationship she had with him. He tells her to “stop holding on to [him],” and sends her on a mission to tell the other disciples. Mary goes from being someone who followed Jesus to someone sent out to spread the good news to others.
How are we being invited to be like Mary Magdalene? How can we take the words of Jesus that we have received and take them out into the world?
—The Jesuit Prayer team