Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Stations of the Resurrection--Third Station--Mary Magdalene Meets the Risen Jesus
("The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene," stained glass window at Islip's church of St Nicholas, taken by Flickr's Lawrence OP)
The Third Station--Mary Magdalene Meets the Risen Jesus
Leader: O Risen Christ, Light of the world, we adore you;
People: You called Mary Magdalene by name and she recognized you.
Suddenly, the weight of the fact Christ's body was missing from the tomb hit Mary Magdalene like a sledgehammer. First Jesus had been taken away from her by crucifixion. Now his body was nowhere to be found. Who could be so cruel, as to steal the body? She felt as empty inside as the tomb she viewed, and began to sob openly, tears falling down her face in great rolls and wetting the collar of her robe. She didn't care there was a growing crowd by now. She didn't care about one single thing going on around her. All she knew was Jesus was gone, in a way worse than she could ever imagine. Before today, she at least had the comfort of knowing where his body lay. Now she had absolutely nothing left to remind her of Jesus.
She looked up, and in the tomb were two men in white. They reminded her of the man she saw earlier. "Why do you weep?" they asked her. Their question angered Mary Magdalene. "How stupid were they?" she thought. "Because they've taken my Lord away and I don't know where he is!" she spat out between her sobs. She couldn't take it anymore. This was just all too much to take in. So she turned and headed away from the tomb, still wailing and sobbing as hard as she could.
As she was walking away, a man stopped her. She could scarcely make him out, the tears clouded her eyes so. "Why do you weep?" the man asked her. "Who are you looking for?"
Mary Magdalene, thinking this man was the gardener, said, "Sir, PLEASE. If you carried him away, just tell me where he is, and I will take care of his body." The man looked at her warmly. "Mary," he whispered.
Suddenly she recognized the voice--it was Jesus! Suddenly, she was embarrassed that she had mistaken Jesus for the gardener. "Rabbouni!" she called out, and put out her arms to hug him. But Jesus took a step back and said, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the father. But go tell the rest, and tell them that I will be ascending to the Father."
Her tears suddenly stopped and a broad joyful smile crossed her face as she ran back to the disciples. He had been raised from the dead, just as Lazarus had been raised from the dead. Who would believe it?
Leader: When Jesus called Mary Magdalene by name,
People: Her weeping turned to joy.
Leader: Let us pray.
(a brief period of silence is observed.)
All powerful and ever-living God,
When you called Mary Magdalene by name,
she recognized the voice as yours alone.
Open our ears so that when you call us by name,
we know that it is your voice, just as the sheep
know the voice of their shepherd.
Let the sound of your voice have the power
to turn our weeping to singing,
dry our tears,
and turn our mournful cries to shouts of joy.
When we cannot quite reach out and touch your Son,
let the sound of his voice comfort us and lead us forward.
Leader: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!