“Mary went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and then reported what he had told her.”  Jn. 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene is the first to witness Christ’s resurrection and is essentially the first true and authentic evangelizer of our faith.  She was with Jesus at the time of his death and was the first to see the empty tomb.  As Pope Francis said, “Her tears at Christ’s empty tomb are a reminder that sometimes in our lives, tears are the lenses we need to see Jesus.” Throughout my own spiritual renewal, I have often times looked to Mary Magdalene with great admiration and reverence. After falling in love with Jesus deeply, I too, have felt compelled to tell everyone about it and not keep it hidden like a secret that needs to be protected in an increasingly secular world. This overwhelming need to share the centrality of Jesus in my own life is one way I relate to Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene dedicated herself to Jesus and his teachings. Due to her devout faith, she was honored with the great task of spreading the good news to her fellow disciples. Mary Magdalene was given the incredible task of galvanizing those that probably felt the most lost after Jesus’ death.  I always sit back in awe by the fact that Jesus chose a woman for this tremendously difficult task.

I imagine the scene where Mary goes and looks for all the men who are all in various states of fear, confusion, sadness, grief, and loss. She swings the door open and starts recounting what she just experienced.  She shouts, “Christ has risen. Get it together, men. We have work to do.” I imagine the reaction of the other disciples. I imagine the shock, excitement, and joy that the disciples must have felt when Mary Magdalene shares her news with them.  God chose her to be the first evangelist of our faith. She is the first who proclaims the central joyous message of Easter.

Let us reflect more deeply on the dignity of women and the greatness of the mystery of the divine mercy.  How are you called into evangelization during this Easter season?  How are you called to be a witness to the Resurrection with her?

Jeanalee Obergfell

Picture Credit: Fra Angelico - Noli Me Tangere