Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. Dark. First light. Dawn. A few minutes of extraordinary encounter. This scene at the tomb of Jesus bestows a supreme gift upon the beloved of God. Time and place and character unfold and then reveal a threshold through which the hearer of the word may enter. Here, as in an icon, you experience Maryâ€™s transformation from desolation to animation, from inertia to action. Within a brief moment, a lifetime of journeys over oceans, abysses, deserts and mountains condenses and collapses into one life-defining revelation. Like Mary, you, the beloved, transfigure from myrrh bearer to message bearer.
Suzanne Guthrie, a writer and Episcopal priest, creates a weekly lectionary retreat on her website, At the Edge of the Enclosure. She lives with the sisters of the Community of the Holy Spirit on their farm in Brewster, New York.