2 Cor 4: 16-18

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Mary Magdalene's Tears


Giotto di Bondone Resurrection of Christ

Mary Magdalene’s tears hold the most beautiful place in all the Resurrection encounters. Tears erupted from the core of who she is, made in the image and likeness of God, desire for Love Incarnate written in her heart. We are the same. Tears rise from that place of intense longing for love we carry every moment of our existence. "The desire for God is written in the human heart because man is created by God and for God; God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for." (CCC: 1: 27)

Why Are You Weeping?

Mary “stayed outside the tomb weeping”. The angels knew why she was weeping, but they savoured the beauty of such longing, and so, with tender care, they ask, “Woman, why are you weeping? They knew how Love would soon console her, that she would find her lover, Jesus, the One who would not only quench her thirst but hold her intimately forever.

Jesus, treasuring her tears, asked her, too. “Woman. why are you weeping?”

How amazing that Mary didn’t recognize Jesus, thinking the one asking her at the empty tomb was the gardener. But God came among us in His only begotten Son looking like just another person, and so it should be no surprise in his Resurrected body.

Mary’s seeing a gardener is a vivid testimony of the Lord’s Resurrected body. She recognized Jesus when He used her name, “Mary!” Then immediately clung to Him.

Jesus consoles her in his beautiful way that entails a necessary waiting. He 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.'"

Jesus leaving her did not mean leaving in the same way she experienced his death, or in the same way we experience the one we love leaving for a long time, or a father watching his daughter leave home as she must according to God’s holy order. Mary encountered Him in a new way that carried her heart toward a horizon of eternal joy. 

Rembrandt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Song of Songs 3:2-4

Let me seek him whom my soul loves
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen found me,
as they made their rounds in the city:
“Him whom my soul loves—have you seen him?”
Hardly had I left them when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him and would not let him go.

With the desire for God written in our hearts, we will thirst for the One whose love alone will satisfy that thirst. We receive a taste of it in someone who loves us beginning with our parents. 

Through our loving and laying down our lives for another we will inevitably experience the temporary and fragile nature of human love. Tears will rise and flood our eyes and souls leading us to experience the truth of St Oscar Romaro's words: "There are some things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried." 

In those moments of sorrow our hearts, like Mary Magdalene's, open wide enough for Jesus to enter and whisper our name. We will cling to Him as Mary did.