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An Easter Message for the Uncorrelated

Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found it empty. I can imagine the fear and panic that must have seized her mind and body in those moments, with not even Christs’ remains left to offer her comfort, to facilitate the process of grief. She needed that physical body so her spirit could cling to the life that once existed within. To this point, her emotional and psychological pain had been unbearable, but the loss of Jesus’ body amplified her sorrow.

Then the resurrected Jesus stood before her. Did he look so different in his resurrected form or did the dictates of her logical mind supersede her ability to comprehend a miracle?

Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?

Mary did not answer these questions directly. She was impatient with the stranger. In this moment, Jesus had robbed her. Overcome by her own pain, she spoke to him, seeking only to uncover what she believed she had lost.

Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

And Jesus answered her by speaking only her name.


This was the moment of enlightenment, the moment of understanding, the opening of greater truth. I’ve contemplated and marveled at this isolated moment, the moment when Christ uttered Mary’s name, many times in my life. The personable gesture resonates with me both as a Christian and as a woman. How many moments have I had in my own life when I have been opened to greater understanding? How many times had I received revelatory truth, a truth that changed the interpretation of what I had lost, yet I cultivated my grief and continued seeking for the dead body.

Some of us live in a world where our personal Christ, the Christ love we have come to know, has been robbed from us. If we visited several different Christian churches, we would find several different versions of the person Jesus Christ. Some of us have come to see that the Jesus offered to us in our own cherished spiritual home does not seem to correlate with the abiding, unconditional and reconciling love we have felt in the Christ consciousness. And we linger at the tomb and grieve.

On this Easter Sunday, I have resolved to turn away from my empty tomb and embrace the new life that is offered to me. In a world where each of us yearns to be praised, accepted, and loved within our spiritual communities, we bear an enormous burden longing to please our loved ones as we embrace personal truth. We grieve for our traditions and rituals, which unified us and gave us comfort. We grieve over the practices and beliefs that no longer function in a progressive world, a world we hope to see develop with greater compassion, opportunity and acceptance. Yet out of love for our community and families, out of longing to sustain that which we know, we linger at the empty tomb.

Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?



Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. What a beautiful post. Thank you.

Tara Bradley said...

Gorgeous, Mel. Once again, perfect in expressing what i and others have felt.

jen said...

Beautiful! Thank you!!

Katrina said...

beautiful. this really touched me on a day that i've felt sad for not *feeling* the meaning of the resurrection like i used to.

Jared said...

Thank you for sharing this; I love the message of loving seeking and finding solace in grief.

I wanted to share a few insights from reading the passage in Greek. This is my favorite passage in the Bible.

First, this is a strikingly intimate story, one framed in terms of family relationships. When Mary asked for Jesus' body she was asking to fulfill the role of a close family member such as a wife.

I never liked the line "Touch me not." Well, it isn't in the Greek. A better translation that also fits the familiar and familial tone is "Stop embracing me."

Finally, Mary is called Maria by the narrator but "Miriam" by Jesus. Our 10 month old is named Miriam and to me this is where it comes from. ;)

I think one message from this story is that with the resurrection moment we are adopted into the family of Jesus, whatever that means for each of us. This theme threads through John.... Symbolically, when the Beloved Disciple is told to take Mary home, the believer gains a new mother. When Jesus says "Go tell my brethren that I go to your God and my God, your father and my father," we gain a new father. And I believe the subtext of this narrative teaches us we gain a new spouse and lover.

Truly an appropriate narrative to share in this time of celebration of and seeking for renewal and rebirth.

mfranti said...

This is lovely, Mel.

Allan West said...

"Why seek ye the living among the dead?

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