“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)

like you

learn to hear our names

the voice of the beloved familiar

in the least familiar place.

Newly alive

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)

 Compassion Values

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?

Closing Prayer

This Easter may we find new ways share our story:

the Risen Christ found in all our familiar and less familiar places.


Christine Kelly

Image Credit – William Henry Margetson

To download the reflection on pdf version click here: Mary Magdalene at the Tomb (Easter Reflection)