"I have seen Him!" Mary's exclamation is full praise, and she lifts
heart, soul, voice, eyes, and hands to Heaven.
"Seen Him? Who? Are you mad, woman?" Again, Peter's penchant for
abruptness strikes at her joy but cannot diminish it.
Mary falls to her knees and she says as if in a state of high
contemplation. "I have seen Him, the Master. He is risen!"
"NO!" "Absurd!" The raving of a grief-stricken woman!" are the various
responses made by the Apostles. Only John's face matches the ecstatic look
on the Magdalene's.
"What do you mean? Speak plainly," says Peter who crosses to the center
of the room in several strides and pulls Mary to her feet. He holds her
arms, so their eyes meet. In his, I see a deep, deep desire to believe
her. There is the first, faint glimmer of hope in his eyes, truly the
first I have seen since the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
"I went there, early. I took the oils and spices. I went ahead of the
other Marys. When I came upon the open space wherein the tomb had been
dug, I saw the stone rolled away from the entrance. The Roman soldiers
were still there. They were asleep. IO cried out, I felt that they or
some other thieves had stolen His body. I awakened them. They were
stunned to see the stone moved.
I rushed past them; I had to see for myself. I entered the tomb. There
was no body there, but the winding sheet and linens we had placed around
Him had been carefully unfolded. They were lying on the stone slab.
I came back out. I begged the soldiers to tell me where they had taken
His Body, for all I sought was to give Him due reverence. They were
frightened, and two ran off to tell their captain that during the night it
was two or more of the man's friends who had tricked them, moved the stone
and stolen the body. They paid no attention to me.
I took the side path. I was bereft, weeping with grief. As I came along
the side path, I saw upon the hill a man. He seemed to be tending the
soil. He spoke to me.
"What did He say?" Peter's grip grew tighter, and Mary broke free from
"He asked me who I was seeking. I told Him, and He then asked me why I
should seek the living among the dead. My grief was so great I began to
cry, and it was then that He spoke my name.
'Mary,' He said, and my soul recognized Him. There is no other voice Who
could speak my name in that way. I looked up, and I saw Him, the Master.
He is alive! I rushed to Him, throwing myself at His feet, but He told me
I should not yet touch Him, as He had not yet gone to the Father. Then He
instructed me to come and announce to His Apostles that He is risen. He
said to tell you He goes before you into Galilee."
There are gasps, sputtering, half-choked words from the assembled men.
"Is it true? Can it be?" Peter's face is flushed with a hope that he
clings to with all his being, but which his human nature will not allow him
to fully accept.
"It is nonsense, and all the more trouble for us now," grumbles one of the
"No!" Mary is on fire. She will not permit these cowardly, doubting men
to rob her of one ounce of her joy, the joy that is meant for all men of
"Go," she commands Peter. "See for yourself if you are not so afraid that
you fear to go beyond the door. What I have said to you is the Truth. Go!
See!" And then, much softer like the whisper of an angel's prayer, Mary
says more to herself, "I will go and give proper thanks with His Mother.
Then I must go to announce the news to those at my brother's house."
"Do you believe her?" is the general question put to Peter.
Peter looks around. He is their Head, their Rock.
"Come, John. We will go. The others remain here. We are sensible men,
not prone to hysterics. We will bring back word after we have seen with
John has already started for the door. Peter must hurry to catch up with
him. Mary, seeing the two Apostles take their leave, silently withdraws
from the room, leaving the remaining Apostles to huddle together where they
alternately, in whispers, hope her words are sincere; at the next,
dismissing them as the over-wrought imaginings of a woman.
But the Magdalene has seen. She has believed and her trust has been
rewarded. Much calmer now on the exterior, and elated, Mary of Magdala
knocks at the door of Our Blessed Mother's room and says, "It is I, Holy
Mother," in a voice that already acknowledges that the Blessed Mother
already knows the cause of her job. She has come to thank God and to honor
His Mother for the prayers offered which saw her through the darkness of
the Passion and Death. She has come to lay at the feet of the Mother of
God the Glory she has been permitted to see for herself, and to pray with
the Mother of God that all may believe, even if they do not see.