Jesus is risen! It is recorded that our resurrected Lord spent 40 days visiting and teaching before departing to be with the Father.  This week our daily prayer will read along with Padraig O’Tuama to consider seven of these interactions. O’Tuama is a poet, theologian, and peacemaker whose book, In the Shelter, will help guide us.  

St. John’s Bible depiction of Mary seeing Jesus —

Today’s Bible reading

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. One at the head and the other at the feet.  They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”. She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him”. When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (Teacher!).  — John 20:11-16

More thoughts for meditation

It is difficult to read this passage of Jesus’s first resurrection appearance without hearing Mary’s pain and desperation. She seems to be blinded by sorrow; pleading with the gardener to reveal the location of her Lord’s body. Jesus encounters Mary in the depths of her grief and gently calls her by name. O’Tuama points out the beauty of this garden experience in which,

It is only here, in hearing her name spoken, that she sees what she could not previously see, that the gardener is the Gardener; and that the body is the Body and that what was dead is now beyond death. 

He notes the echo of Eden in which God sees us in our distress and calls us by name. Hearing the voice of her beloved Lord, Mary perceives what she could not see. It is a gift to be people of the resurrection, to see and be seen, to be called by name as an intimate. Hello to meeting God where we do not expect to see him.  

Suggestions for action

Many of us, our friends, and neighbors have difficulty seeing God amid the anxious expectation and grief.  Pray that the Lord may allow you to see those in your sphere, especially those who are isolated and living alone, ways of being made more difficult by the quarantine.  Reach out in love to them and call them by name. Make sure they know they are seen.