When Mary encountered the empty tomb, her sadness at the death of Jesus is made worse. The stone rolled away was a powerful sign of her loss. And the only way she knew to fix this overwhelming sadness was to retrieve that which she believed she had lost. When we face overwhelming sadness, it is difficult to see past our loss. We tend to crawl into some dark corner to nurse our hurt, or we fly off in a rage to inflict on others the hurt we feel.
But Jesus calls Mary by name and she recognizes his voice. In that encounter, Mary is changed. And the empty tomb becomes to her a symbol of new life. She wants to be with Jesus her friend and Lord. But he tells her to take the Good News of his resurrection to others. So she is sent. She is the first to bring the Good News of the resurrection to his apostles. She becomes the Apostle to the Apostles.
When we encounter the Risen Jesus, we too are transformed. And the empty tomb of our hurts and loss is forever changed into a fountain of new life. But we cannot keep that Good News to ourselves. We need to proclaim it to others. And if instead it is not Good News we are proclaiming, it is probably because we have not encountered the Risen Jesus as yet. We think we have, and we have lots of information to share, lots of stories to tell. But a true encounter generates joy and enthusiasm and hope. Those who have only sadness and loss and despair may have come upon the empty tomb, but they have not yet encountered the Risen Jesus. That encounter when it happens will be so transforming that sadness and loss fall away. And in their place emerges joy and enthusiasm and hope that must be shared.
Because what you now know, you cannot unknow.
We offered this mass for the repose of +James Sarsfield.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020