By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 22, 2015
July 22, 2015

Gospel JN 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.

Reflection:

Examined closely, there is much that this gospel passage reveals.

Clearly, Mary Magdalene was distraught at the thought that someone had taken the body of Jesus.

Undoubtedly, Peter and John were also disturbed that Jesus’ body was missing. But, having seen the empty tomb, they left. “So the disciples went away again to their own homes.” John 20:3

However Mary, stayed at the empty tomb waiting upon the Lord. Turning, she saw Jesus but did not recognize him.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”

At that point, Jesus speaks only one word, her name; “Mary!”

Hearing the sound of Jesus’ voice speak her name, Mary immediately recognized and embraced him.

The following line tells us that Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.”

Jesus then gives Mary her apostolic assignment: “But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

The gospel finishes by telling us, Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.

Today’s gospel prompts my heart to question: What is the message I would want to leave before I die, and to whom would I entrust it?

I would entrust it to the one I love, of course. And, it would be a message that would ensure peace of heart and mind to all who embraced it.

“There is a saying, ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies.’ But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that.” Matthew 5: 43-47



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