Chapel of Mary Magdalene: Jesus reveals himself

Mary Magdalene was the first to see the resurrected Lord. She turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” which means Teacher. (John 20:13-16)

Mary Magdalene sculpture in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Notice that Mary is full of joy in the discovery that her dearest friend has risen from the dead. One hand of Jesus is gesturing for her to stop. His other hand is raised toward heaven, and his gaze is following this hand upward. It’s as if he’s saying, “Look toward heaven; what’s earthly doesn’t matter nearly as much.” Mary’s head is tilted upward. Her gaze wants to go where Jesus is looking, but her eyes are caught between heaven and earth. One of her hands wants to touch Jesus, the other is covering her heart as if realizing that this is where he will dwell after he ascends to the Father.

Lord Jesus, how often I have wept or complained because it seemed like You were not with me in my sorrows and sufferings! Help me to see clearly, to look up toward heaven to recognize Your presence in ALL situations. Help me to turn to You and find You, for You never leave me nor abandon me. You care even more about me and my problems than I do. You weep with me. You suffer with me. And always You are working a plan for my benefit, to make good come from everything that happens to me. Thank You, my Lord and my Teacher. Amen!