When Mary of Magdalene noticed that the stone before the tomb was gone, she hurried to Peter and John. And they also went to the tomb, John went in, he saw and believed.
( John 20.1-3.8)
The Easter morning of Mary of Magdalene
"On the first day of the week, early in the morning - it was still dark - ..." enters a woman, Mary of Magdalene a place called the burial garden. This is how the Easter story of the evangelist John begins. What do we know about her?
Her name is Mary and she comes from a small town of Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. She is without doubt the most important female and also one of the most loyal students of Jesus, and the only one mentioned by name among all four evangelists. She accompanied Jesus until his death. She accidentally ran into Jesus on her way, and that meeting made another human being of her, albeit the apostle of the apostles. "Early in the morning - it was still dark," dark represents that dark side of our lives, when we lost confidence and are carefree and are confused or see no way out. In that darkness Mary Magdalene gets up and goes on the way, the Sabbath is over and she wants to embalm the body of her faithful friend Jesus.
She is completely distressed now that the man she believed and hoped for was murdered, how is that possible, the Son of God. But then she suddenly sees that the big stone in front of the entrance of his grave had rolled away, and that the tomb was empty, she hurried to the disciples and fetched John and Peter, together they indeed determine that the tomb is empty, only John went in and believed. It sounds familiar and is also recognizable, that total desperation of Mary Magdalene, her despair and sorrow. We recognize that and experience it ourselves, it is truly human, things that are completely out of order, friendships or relationships that are breaking up, beloveds that have passed away, or become incurably ill or have to live on with a disability.
The pain of sorrow, the emptiness of the loss, feeling of desolation or desperation, it is as if we were going with her early in the morning after sleepless nights of pain and sorrow, it is indeed still dark. So many now live a completely different life because of this strange pandemic and working relationships, but also the fear, the inconvenience of isolation that we all feel.
It resembles the unusual darkness, the lack of view, like we never had before.
When Mary Magdalene stands by the empty grave in amazement, she thinks she sees a gardener, but when he suddenly sees him address her and calls her by name, she recognizes that voice and immediately wants to hug Him, but Jesus only appears to people in passing, God is and remains 'elusive'. But I am also called by name, "You are Mine when you are in trouble, I will be with you." The Easter event also has to do with our tears for loss, with repentance and turnaround, with new confidence in the future. He lives, I may live, even the stone has rolled away in front of me, He is standing before me, you see him again, you see yourself again. Jesus invites us to give space to our hope to give the new day a chance because: in the middle of the 'night' a new day begins, after every Good Friday there is also an Easter. I may be human in the first light and walk with God in the garden that is our earth. That in any darkness that I can experience in my life,the fear and uncertainty of the corona pandemic and the sadness of the sweet people who have been affected I am also called upon not to sit down, but as Mary Magdalene can be open to the Light again. Because Easter tells us: Life wins - always!
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,
Launceston on Tasmania,