Easter Sunday 2019
“It was...still dark when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.” Why was it still dark? It was still dark because the light of faith, the light of knowledge hadn’t dawned for Mary and the other disciples. The Light of the World was risen, but they did not know: it was their minds, rather than the day, which were dark.
So Mary Magdalene, the woman, runs to Peter, the leader, and John, the beloved. The woman, the leader, and the beloved: representatives of the disciples, representatives of the Church. And they run, and they see, but the light does not yet dawn.
John sees, but he does not go in: he leaves that to the leader. The leader goes in, and sees, but does not understand. The beloved enters, and sees, and understands. It is love, rather than leadership, which brings understanding.
As it was for the first disciples, so it will ever be. It is love, rather than leadership, which will bring understanding. It is love which will make us know that Christ is risen. It is love which will make His risen life a reality in us. Please God, our leaders will always be filled with that love, as Pope Francis clearly is, and as our Bishop is—love and leadership will be combined—but for all of us it is love which will bring light.
But who is the first to be granted full vision, the first encounter with the risen Lord? We are not told in this extract—it is my suspicion that we are not told at all. I have a theory that the risen Christ is not at the tomb because He has gone to visit His mother. I have no evidence for saying that, but it strikes me as not unlikely. In any case, the first meeting of the risen Lord is with a woman, whether it be Mary His mother or Mary of Magdala, and I suspect that the Church hasn’t even begun to understand the implications of that.
Perhaps these are all side issues. What matters is that He is risen, that He has conquered darkness, evil, and even death. Neither evil nor death can have the last word. Evil may afflict us, but it cannot defeat us. Christ is risen: we have no more evil to fear. He is risen indeed ALLELUIA.