Mary Magdalene as our Easter Witness
The gospel accounts depict Mary Magdalene as the first physical witness to Christ’s resurrection. She is present at the empty tomb with the two apostles on Easter morning. She meets and converses with the Risen Lord in the garden. She is called by name by the Lord who bids her: “Go and tell my brethren…”
But more important than her being the material witness to the resurrection is the fact that her life has been made new in Christ Jesus. Her conversion enhances her witness to the faith.
Her great love, as expressed in her washing the feet of Jesus with perfume, takes away her many sins and strengthens her in her struggle to be faithful. Incidentally, Christ makes use of the washing of the feet as the example of love set for his disciples during the Last Supper.
Before the resurrection, Mary is fearful, confused and desolate. We identify with her in our fears, broken relationships and isolation. After the resurrection, Mary becomes lively and hopeful. With her, our spirits soar as the risen Lord calls her by name. Easter is Christ’s invitation for us to witness to His good news. Easter is the confirmation of the sacredness of our humanity.
It is interesting to note that in the garden of the resurrection. Mary Magdalene, in the midst of tears, mistakes Jesus for the gardener. In a way, Jesus is the gardener in our garden of life. Christ’s resurrection cultivates our faith in the barren soil of our human brokenness and sinfulness. Like Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning, we are commanded by the Risen Lord to share God’s love to all the world.
Christ’s resurrection invites us to the miracle of a transformed life. It invites us to invite Christ to do in us what he has done to billions before us. It invites us to love again after we have failed. It invites us to trust again after being betrayed. It invites us to believe again after our faith has been shaken. For by His resurrection, Christ is alive in our midst, wanting to work miracles in our lives.