“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
“Ka mea a Ihu ki i ia. E Meri” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
Mary Magdalene at the Tomb on Easter Morning: John 20:1-18
Tell how it happened “Let us abandon ourselves to Him without reserve,
you and He will grant us such joy.”
who so (Spiritual Tonics p.52)
surely had business
with the dead.
Tell how it happened “Let us be graciously simple in all our relations with others
and be … let us go straight to the end without minding
unembellished in your telling approval or disapproval.”
for like you (Spiritual Tonics p.78)
our grief is blinding
and loss of hope
weighs heavily. “My Lord and my God, make me believe
Tell how it happened in the love you have for me.”
so we (Spiritual Tonics p.20)
learn to hear our names
the voice of the beloved familiar
in the least familiar place.
we go on our way “Let us honour the joy of the Heart of Jesus
sharing our truth by our own joy in his service.”
with joy. (Spiritual Tonics p.62)
He manaakitanga Atua Tapu: Divine providence
He ngawaritanga: Simplicity
Nga awhina ki nga rawakore: Action with the poor
He tika o nga tangata ki nga tangata: Justice
Te kotahitanga: Partnership
Jesus showed Mary compassion by having her recognise him in His newly risen form.
It was Jesus’s use of her name that made Mary realise that Jesus was truly alive in that moment. This was a profoundly simple action. Knowing and using names signifies relationship. Jesus and Mary’s friendship had somehow survived death itself.
On what we call Easter morning, Mary was simply doing what she believed duty required of her. She was doing a chore with love, reverence, and grief in her heart. For me, Mary stands for women who simply do the next necessary thing endeavouring, perhaps, to bring some order or peace amidst chaos. In such circumstances, Jesus makes Himself known.
The legacy of Suzanne’s spirituality would have us do our small kindnesses as if it is Christ we are serving. From what we know of Suzanne, she lived her calling open to the Spirit of Jesus, a Jesus who wants to surprise us in the mundanity of our days. May we too know this source of energy, encouragement, and joy!
As a result of her encounter with Jesus, Mary’s reality was changed. Like us, perhaps, she did not have her questions answered. Far from it. What she did have was an experience to be shared.
This is a quiet, powerful encounter. It is not difficult for me to imagine that Mary would go on telling her story regardless of the judgements of others. This simplicity of witness also inspires me.
Possible Prompts for Reflection
- What changed reality am I living with, and how am I responding?
- How does this story speak to me about enduring friendship, service, and joyful apostleship?
- How do I feel about a surprising Jesus, a transformed and transforming Jesus, a Jesus happened upon?
- What challenges do I face in sharing my story?
This Easter may we find new ways share our story:
the Risen Christ found in all our familiar and less familiar places.
Image Credit – William Henry Margetson
To download the reflection on pdf version click here: Mary Magdalene at the Tomb (Easter Reflection)