Thank you, Andrea Dunn, for writing today’s reflection which will hopefully ripple out into the hearts of many! Andrea is our very thoughtful and reflective sister in Christ who, with her family, is a foundational part of Christ Church where we also choose to worship our Lord on Sunday mornings.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 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.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”
After discovering the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene ran to Jesus’ disciples and reported her findings. Peter and John took Mary’s word seriously and raced to the tomb. John won the contest, a detail he mentioned more than once in his book.
Mary returned to the tomb, her grieving soul fixated on finding the corpse of her friend. I relate to this grief induced OCD. Shock and sadness punish a psyche, and reduce it to a slave of disorganized thought, like a lost puppy sniffing the same circle of grass over and over. Unable to come up with any objective other than finding Jesus’ body, Mary loitered at the tomb. Two angels invited her to settle down and share her sorrows. “Woman, why are you weeping?” they asked.
She answered, “They have taken away my Lord.” Instead of waiting for their response, she turned around and continued her anguished search, not even stopping in her despondence to talk to angels!
Then Jesus asked her the same question, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Still spiraling in her sorrows, she did not recognize Jesus. When I read her response, I can almost hear her saying, “Look, if you’re the one that moved the body, it’s cool. Just tell me where he is before I lose my mind! Then I will go get him!”
“Mary.” Jesus said, and we can envision recognition taking shape on her tear-stained face.
“Rabboni!” In her one exhalation, we hear so many emotions: relief, amazement, love, devotion. Mary found what she truly sought when the living Jesus called her by name.
Jesus also calls you by name. He is whispering your name right now. You no longer need to flit about searching for a dead body, or circling a faint whiff of home over and over. Hear the living Jesus speaking your name. Feel his warm breath fall on you and fill you with his spirit. He whom you’ve been truly seeking calls your name.