Reading: John 20:1-18
Verse 18: “Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’”
John’s Easter Sunday account begins just as Matthew’s did in yesterday’s reading. Mary Magdalene goes early in the morning to the burial place of Jesus. In Mark’s gospel it is Magdalene and another woman who go to the tomb. In Luke’s gospel “the women” are heading there to care for the body when they find the tomb empty. Then the angels tell them that Jesus is alive. Notice the common theme here is all the gospels.
It is the women who were regularly part of Jesus’ ministry that are the first ones to hear the good news. This feels appropriate. Jesus clearly saw women differently than society and the religious leaders saw women. Jesus sees them as equals, as people of sacred worth. It feels right that these women who were such an integral part of Jesus’ ministry are the first ones to hear and share the wonderful news that Jesus is alive.
It is these same women, Mary Magdalene most notedly, that go and tell the disciples the news. They have to be the ones – the disciples are scared and are in hiding. Peter and John are moved to action only with Mary’s news that someone stole the body. Even though they were at the tomb, Jesus does not appear until just Mary remains, weeping once again. After this encounter, “Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’” Knowing the truth of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene goes to share it with others. As we too know this good news, today and every day may we too declare: Jesus is alive!
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for totally flipping the script – for delivering the greatest news after the deepest tragedy. With the joy and faith of Mary Magdalene, may I too proclaim that Jesus is alive! Amen.