Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
As I woke up this morning, I immediately remembered that today Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in the garden. How I love this story! I have walked that garden on so many occasions and each time the encounter takes on a new twist.
Today, as I was thinking about it laying in bed, it suddenly dawned on me that Jesus was in the garden for Mary Magdalene. No encounter of the Risen One was ever accidental. Oh, the joy she must have felt from then on every time she remembered that morning in the garden! Whatever happened to her afterwards would not trouble her. She just had to return to the garden and feel his presence. What a gift this was! I have always been aware of the depth of her love for him. Today I noticed his love for her, a love which is not of this world.
Strangely, as I understood the dimension of their encounter in the garden, as I saw him waiting for her it was a bit also as if he had been waiting for me to make sure that I would understand something that had gone unseen till then.
Thus, this morning, I too encountered Jesus in the garden. What a treat this is.
Art: Claude Lorrain, Noli Me Tangere, 1681