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  • Writer's picturePhil


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Alleluia. Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

God of glory, by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill us with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You!

Because by the Wood of the Cross and the Light of the Resurrection,

You have redeemed the world!

"She turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?'

She thought He was the gardener and said to Him,

"Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.'

Jesus said to her, 'Mary!"

She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni,’ which means Teacher.

Jesus said to her, 'Stop holding on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them, 'I am going to My Father and your Father,

to My God and your God.'

Mary of Magdalen went and announced to the disciples,

I have seen the Lord,' and what He told her" (John 20: 14b-18).

Even though Jesus had told them what would happen - his death and the large stone placed across his tomb,

must have made them feel that all was lost. Imagine the shock that Mary Magdalen must have felt on that first Easter day,when she found that the stone had been rolled away.

Her fear, that the body of Jesus had been taken away, meant she could not even grieve for him at his tomb –

even that, she felt, had been taken away from her.

At that point she did not realise that

he had risen as he promised.

Pause for silent reflection

Jesus called her by name,

gave her the eyes of faith,

and called her to give

a unique personal witness

to her friends in the

faith community.

She is known over the centuries as

"the apostle to the Apostles."

"It’s almost as if it was a dream – but the rest of my life before then – that was a nightmare, spent in the arms of different men who seemed like corpses. But when I anointed his feet

I woke up, and I’ve been awake ever since. And ever since that night they nailed him to the cross, and we prepared those ointments for him, I’ve never slept. Those ointments had more tears in them than myrrh and aloes. And that dawn – what anguish! The stone, we were worrying about who would move it, and it had already been rolled away. All our work that night was for nothing. It made me feel so empty – I could hardly breathe, but I screamed at Peter and John - “they’ve taken the Lord away from the tomb”.

I thought it was the gardener. “If it’s you who have taken him away, tell me where you’ve put him!” How could I not recognise him? - Although my eyes were swollen with crying .

Then he said it. “Mary” – and it seemed, just for that moment, that he had come back for me. Why did he choose me, the whore from Magdala? Why not his mother, or John? He could see I was going to throw my arms around him. “Don’t cling to me”. How I needed to feel the warmth….but his voice said it all….and at least I was given the first-fruits of the joy of seeing him! What more could I ask?"

Adapted from “Wrestling with Christ” by Luigi Santucci.

We praise you and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of glory,

for the love which drew Mary Magdalene to your tomb to weep over your death.

As you broke into her grief with your death-shattering life,

so reach into our broken hearts with your promise of hope.

To you, Lord Jesus, reaching into the deepest tombs of our despair,

be honour and glory, now and for ever.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life:

Lord Jesus, come in glory. Alleluia!

Thanks to The Official Vatican prayer book for the Jubilee Year 2000, Pilgrim Prayers, Via Lucis; The Church Union & The Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda for Stations of the Resurrection - A resource for those praying at home and The Church of England Website "Times and Seasons" for reflection and prayers.

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