The gospel for tomorrow, Tuesday of Holy Week (April 14, 2020), John 20:11-18, is the passage that follows the gospel we heard on Easter morning (John 20:1-9).
On Easter we heard that Mary of Magdala went to Jesus’ tomb “and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” She went to Simon Peter, who, along with the beloved disciple, ran to the tomb and found it empty.
Peter and the other disciple returned home but Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb. In Tuesday’s gospel we hear of her encounter with Jesus at the tomb. She is weeping as Jesus comes to her. She doesn’t understand what has happened. She thinks someone has taken him. She does not recognize him, perhaps in part because she isn’t expecting to see him.
He asked her, “Whom are you looking for? This is the same question Jesus asks as his Passion begins (see Good Friday Gospel) of those who come to have him killed. He freely tells them that He is Jesus the Nazorean whom they are looking for.
Of course, Mary Magdalene is looking for Jesus, actually perhaps it is more accurate to say she is looking for his body for she does not wholly understand the Resurrection yet.
Jesus calls her by name. At that moment she recognizes him, calling him ‘”Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.‘ She knows she has seen the Lord and tells others the good news.
So, “whom are you looking for?“. Since you are reading this, I assume you are looking for Jesus. In looking for Jesus, what are you looking for? Are you looking for one to bring you peace in times of difficulty? Are you looking for someone to keep you company during the Coronavirus shutdown? Are you looking for someone to fix your problems?
Or are you looking for a savior?
Jesus is our Savior (see my recent blog, ” Who is Our Savior?“). Jesus comes to save us. He saves us from our sins when He sacrifices his life for us on the Cross and He raises us in the Resurrection. He raises us in this world when we stop making things of this world our priority and seek God.
In the past I have written about how I think everyone is searching for something, everyone is looking for that which brings them fulfillment. We are created in the image of God. Knowing and loving God is the only thing that can truly fulfill us. We know this. This is why Jesus is the one whom we are looking for.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know this. They look for fulfillment in earthly things. Some of them even deny there is a god, professing to be atheists.
I wonder what they are doing during this Coronavirus pandemic. Are they feeling lonely and isolated? We might all feel a little lonely since we aren’t going out to spend time with family and friends. However, we have Jesus. Who do they have?
Now, we aren’t supposed to force our faith on them. What we can do is be good witnesses. If they see us happier than they are and ask what makes us happy, we can say it is the peace of Christ. If they don’t ask, we can see if the door is open. One way to do this might be to simply tell them we are praying for them as we all deal with the effects of what is going on with the Coronavirus.
From there, if they ask more, tell them what Jesus means to you. Don’t be afraid that they might ask questions you don’t have the answers to. If you are supposed to give them the answer, God will give you the words (see Matthew 10:19 and Mark 13:11). If you aren’t able to answer their questions, point them to good Catholic resources starting with the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Point them to this website or other good Catholic websites. You don’t have to save them all by yourself. You are not their Savior. Jesus is. You just need to put them in touch with Jesus.