Thought for the Day : Tuesday 13 April

Thought for the Day by Clive Barrett (St Michael’s)

“I have seen the Lord”

Readings: John 20:11-18

Something happened that first Easter Day. We don’t know what, we don’t know how, and we never will. The mechanics of stones and bones are neither here nor there. What matters is that something extraordinary actually happened. It wasn’t made up – they couldn’t even get their stories straight: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all tell it differently. But some things tally: the rock moved away, a corpse-less tomb, even things that made the story less credible to some, like the key witnesses being women – who weren’t taken seriously in any court of law. Nobody would have made that up, so it had to be true. And at the centre was Mary Magdalene.

She doesn’t recognise Him at first – another common resurrection theme, the revelation of the risen Christ looking bodily different to the Jesus of memory. But she hears the voice, the name, the call: “Mary”. The Living One calls her by name. He calls us by name. He is calling your name.

Like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, she wants to freeze the moment, to press “Pause”, to hold on to revelatory bliss, just her and the Christ together. But she must let go, there is work to be done. She must tell.

Thus, it transpired, that for 20 minutes or so, our entire faith, yours and mine, was Mary’s and hers alone. She was Pope, bishops, saints, the entire Body of Christ. She alone was the Church in its fullness, carrying the good news of the risen Christ. And so she told them, “I have seen the Lord”. In those words, faith was set free; free for you and for me.

Mary Magdalene told them, “I have seen the Lord”. Faith was set free; free for you and for me.

Listen to Adrian Snell’s powerful musical take on John 20.18


Noli Me Tangere: “Do not hold me”
(John 20.17)

  • In the pandemic, how many of us have been starved of touch and long for the chance to hold loved ones?
  • How often are we (women, especially) the subject of unwanted touch?
  • What do you need to let go of in order to be able to move forward in your life?

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