Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her. (Jn 20:18)
“I tell you, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.”
“Lazarus, come forth.”
(“Are you a king?”) “It is you who say that I am.”
Jesus made some rather dramatic statements and performed some rather dramatic miracles in front of people. You would think, especially given the society in which He was raised, that His resurrection would be witnessed by someone of importance or by someone “higher up the ladder” in terms of the Church’s leadership.
However, the resurrection was first witnessed by Mary of Magdala, a simple, humble woman from whom He had once cast out demons. Women did not count for much in the day of the Lord. Why would He bother to appear first to her?
The bigger question, I believe, would be, “Why not?!”
After all, Mary Magdalene was a faithful disciple. She was present with Jesus for most of His ministry. She stood faithfully by Him at the moment of His crucifixion. She had love for Him that overcame fear as she made her way to the tomb to finalize Jesus’ body in death. Remember, since it was Preparation Day, they hastily anointed Jesus’ body and placed it in the tomb. However, there was still more that should have been done to the body.
Mary’s faith and love was rewarded as she was the first to see the Risen Lord.
As a disciple, she had once heard the words of the Lord to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News.
Once again, as a faithful disciple, she heard the words of the Lord to “go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Mary did just that.
She brought the Good News to the apostles who met it with doubt and confusion. Later, they would come to realize that Mary was right, that the Lord truly had been raised from the dead.
FAITH ACTION: As Mary was commissioned, so, too, have we. In word and deed this day, go out to the world and tell the Good News!