Mary Magdalene

Love, the cornerstone of resurrection, is important to experience resurrection

arun simon
3 min readApr 2, 2024

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, 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, 11- 16)

Mary Magdalene loved Jesus much, and the death of Jesus caused much hurt and pain to her. Going to anoint the body early morning was surely a sign of her love. Though painful at some situations to accept, death is considered as an inevitable human experience. So Mary’s expressions were very normal.

Now she saw the empty tomb and the two angels. The angels only asked the reason for her crying. They never helped in finding a solution to her problem of finding the body. Now she saw Jesus, the same one whom she loved much. This non-recognition can be seen only as a strangeness of resurrection. Yes, death is a normal phenomenon and experience, not resurrection. Mary, like all of us, make decisions, judgements, analysis based on our prior human experiences. Mary had experiences of people dying, but never of resurrection. So no wonder, the familiar Jesus in the risen form became a gardener.

But the beauty of her love was that Jesus calling her the name was enough for her. She recognized him. She experienced the resurrection. Love may struggle, but never fail. Love is the means to experience the intangible, out of the world — resurrection.

Super special risen Lord is meeting the people as a gardener, as a companion in the journey (Emmaus), as someone preparing the breakfast for them (miraculous catch at the sea of Galilee. Ordinary is mixed with the extra-ordinary. What was the best example of this? It is incarnation. But this continues even with the resurrection. Probably that’s why he said, “whatever you do to the least of my brothers/sisters, you do unto me.” Experiencing the resurrection is not easy, but the path to that goes through the ordinary. I find it very strange; but that is not an easy truth to digest.

Easter Season (not a day) is given by the church to experience resurrection. Yes, it takes time. But it does happen in ordinary ways. Probably extra-ordinary, time-taking and ordinary goes together.

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20, 17–18)

Mary Magdalene is known as the apostle of apostles. At one moment, she was the only one who had the news of resurrection. She informs the news to disciples and other people. Fr James Martin SJ says something really beautiful on this. At one moment, Mary Magdalene was the church. And the community grows because of her announcing. Being the church never became the moment of pride or glory for her, but she spread the good news and make the community grow. She never wanted to hold on exclusively to the love of Jesus. It was inclusive and it gave her a lot of freedom; it invited her for her mission.

Love led to resurrection. Love is important for an experience of resurrection



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…