Tuesday after Easter

If you attend Mass today you will hear the following Gospel reading from John chapter 20:

11 But Mary [Magdalene] stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb;

12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.

13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).

17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

This is a powerful reminder of the role Mary of Magdala played as the first witness to the Resurrection.  A woman was our first witness!  Jesus’ relationship to Mary of Magdala is critical to our understanding of the place of women in his life and in our religious history!  All good you say, that we hear this read to us today, but only if you go to Mass on Tuesday.

If you went to Mass on Easter Sunday, which I hope you did, you would have heard read verses 1 through 9, but then the reading stopped.  What happened to the following verses?  Why were they omitted?  If you lived in Canada or, I think, many other countries, you would have heard verses 1 through 18.  But not here in the U.S.!  I don’t know why, but my natural curiosity is tinged with suspicion that there is an anti-women agenda lurking in the heart of the U.S. Church liturgical committee members that made that decision.

Big picture, if you want to know about women’s place in our religious history, you have to go looking for it yourself, or in this case, go to daily Mass.  I know this is not new information, but I thought it was worth saying today, Tuesday, April 2, 2024.John Houk, jpc

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