Eucharistic Readings for Easter Sunday 21 April 2019
“Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending 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 she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:17-18)
Mary runs twice. First she sees that the body of Jesus is missing and runs and tells Simon Peter (and we think John) that the body of Jesus is missing. After they have their “verification run”, Mary sees and talks with Jesus and then is sent by Jesus to announce the Resurrection!
Mary owes everything she knows about herself to Jesus. She was possessed by many demons from which Jesus released her. Jesus was her life-line. So when Jesus called her by her name, “Mary” it was like the impossible happening! She got her life back.
Mary is sent by Jesus to give the Resurrection sermon; I have seen the Lord! She gives the information that Jesus has risen from the dead!
Jesus coming back from the dead might be shocking. But I think what is more divine about Jesus is that he rose from the dead, and is able to let us know he rose from the dead. I wonder how many rose from the dead but are not able to share with us the reward of faithful living.
God has made covenant with humanity for the whole existence of humanity. And we always find a way to break it. We broke it with Noah. We broke it with Abraham. We broke it with Moses. Now God comes to us as one of us to show us how to keep covenant. This time in order to break covenant we have to kill God Incarnate, and we do. But God says “NO.” This time God un-breaks the broken. God in Christ Jesus, as a human and as God, sustains covenant with God by defeating death, thus maintaining covenant with God.
Jesus tells Mary to go and tell “us” that he has gone back to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God. This is so reminiscent of Ruth 1:16-17 where Ruth refuses to leave Naomi but says, “ Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried.”
I can see Mary running with more excitement than she can bear with the Good News of the Resurrection! But will Simon Peter and John and the others and us, will we listen to Mary Magdalene’s sermon and rejoice? Or do we too need to run some kind of verification race? We need to hear her words and believe her and get our lives back also. Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to the people of the Creating Word and then let us “Ponder anew what the Almighty is doing.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.