I know my Saviour lives!
While the disciples return home, Mary of Magdala remains near the tomb and weeps. She saw the empty tomb and the funeral cloths, but she did not understand and therefore she did not believe; she stays there because she loves and cries, without knowing that there is no reason to cry.
Mary cries because she thinks they have taken away her Lord. She sees him behind her, but does not recognize him. She is too full of her reasoning and does not recognize Jesus. She turns physically, turns back and sees a "stranger". The first word that the evangelist John puts in the mouth of the risen Christ is a question:
"Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?".
It is the same question that Jesus asked the first disciples "What are you looking for?" and also, the soldiers at the beginning of the passion "Who are you looking for?"
It is the question of our life:
"What are we looking for?".
Mary thinks He's the keeper of the garden. Are you right or wrong? According to John's logic, the answer is twofold: she is wrong, because Jesus is not materially the gardener; yet she is right, because the risen Christ is truly the one who takes care of the garden, a symbol of Eden, a good environment for the encounter between God and humanity.
Closed in her thoughts, Mary repeats her mistaken idea until she hears her name being called.
The tone with which Jesus pronounced Mary's proper name must have been decisive: she recognizes a sweet reproach with a note of disappointment, but above all a desire for awakening and understanding.
At this point she recognizes the voice and feels a dip in the heart: she turns inside and recognizes it. Only a vocative, in her mother tongue, arises on her lips: "My Master!" With all the affection of the heart, Mary throws herself at Jesus' feet to embrace Him, but the Risen One does not want to be held back and explains to her that He did not go back to his former condition, but went beyond earthly life, arriving in the glory of God.
Jesus says to her:
“Do not hold me back, thinking that he has not yet gone up to the Father. Instead I am truly risen and I send you to my brothers to announce to them the good news of the love that overcame death. My Father has now become your Father; my God is your God. All of you are given the opportunity to participate in the very life of God."John 20;17
That believing woman, an image of new humanity and of the Church, lived the experience that each of us wishes to repeat. We ask this with this confident prayer to the risen Jesus:
O Lord, grant me that no new morning will come to illuminate my life without my thoughts turning to your resurrection and without that, in spirit, I go, with my poor aromas, towards the empty tomb in the garden! O Lord, grant me that every morning is Easter morning for me! And that every day and every awakening, bringing me the joy of Easter, also bring me the deepest conversion, the one that will allow me to turn from your image of yesterday to that of today! O Lord, grant me that each of my awakenings is an awakening to your true presence, an Easter encounter with Christ in the garden, just that unexpected Christ, which upsets my thought, but warms my heart with a new enthusiasm. O Lord, grant me that every episode of the day is a moment in which I hear you calling me by name, as you called: “Maria!”. O Lord, then allow me to turn to you; allow me to answer with one word, to say to you one word, but with all my heart: “My Master!”
Don Claudio Doglio, professor of Sacred Scripture at the Theological Faculty of Milan and parish priest in the Parish of Saint Ambroge/Varazze (Italy)