Easter is a Verb: Redux

One aspect of the Easter story from the Gospel according to John has always intrigued me — the encounter between Mary Magdalene and Jesus outside the tomb (John 20:1). As usual, it prompts in me more questions than answers. How is it that she didn’t recognize him? What must the tomb have been like for Peter and “the other disciple” to have to stoop down to enter it? (My visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 2015 shed some light on a possible answer, but that’s a topic for a future post.) What specifically prompted Mary to visit the tomb that morning? And Peter and John to leave after their inspection of the tomb? Of the angels to appear to Mary? Of Jesus to choose and anoint Mary to be his “apostle to the apostles”?

In light of these questions and this passage, consider the poem “Seen” from Jan Richardson:

You had not imagined
that something so empty
could fill you
to overflowing,

and now you carry
the knowledge…

how the emptiness
will bear forth
a new world
you cannot fathom
but on whose edge
you stand.

So why do you linger?
You have seen,
and so you are
already blessed.
You have been seen,
and so you are
the blessing.

There is no other word
you need…
There is simply
to begin.”

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