On this first week of the Easter season, we will be looking at several of the resurrection appearances, and letting them guide our prayer. May we see the risen Lord and share in His life!

Today’s Bible reading

John 20:11-18

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!” (which means Teacher). 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.

More thoughts for meditation

We should take note of Mary’s inability to see the risen Lord even though he is standing right in front of her.

How we are like her, wanting to find our Lord, but not knowing where!

Why, if God has risen from the dead, are we still confused? Why do we still fail to see God in our life? Why in our pain, loneliness, despair, does God seem not close to us?

Sometimes God does not seem present. Sometimes it is weeks, months, years, that we do not see God in the circumstances of our life. This can be very painful. Especially if we think that we ought to have some faith since we celebrate Easter every year.  

Easter can be such a burden if we think that we need to come away from it with glad certainty that the Lord is risen and is causing all things to rise. It’s just not honest about the way things often are for us.

The Jesus that Mary wanted to find and the Jesus that found her are very different. She was grieved because she couldn’t find his body. If she could, then she could return it to the tomb and bring this part of her life to conclusion.

Jesus saw a deeper grief in her, though. A grief that we all share. A grief that tombs are the final end to life. A grief that the flower of life withers as soon as it appears.

It was to console such grief that he asked her “why are you weeping?” It was to console such grief that God took on human flesh, suffered, and died. So that, when we would finally see Him standing at our side, it would be as one who has overcome the world. 

He has overcome the world. Trust the one who has overcome the world with whatever faith or lack of faith you have, whatever degree of light and dark, hope and despair occupies your life at this present moment.

Suggestions for action

Pray using the words from this Taize chant: Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us. Let not my doubts nor my darkness speak to me.

Repeat it throughout the day, when you are driving, cooking, showering, or whenever your mind is not occupied.