Tender Is the Voice
Homily for Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Preached on April 6, 2010 at Holy Spirit Parish/The Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY
Readings: Acts 2:36-41; Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; John 20:11-18
It wasn’t the stone rolled away that made her believe that Jesus had risen (cf. Jn. 20:1). It wasn’t the empty tomb, the folded napkin, the rolled up shroud (cf. Jn. 20:2-7). It wasn’t the two angels in white questioning her weeping (cf. Jn. 20:11-13). It wasn’t any of these that made Mary Magdalene believe that the Jesus whom she saw die on the cross and laid in the tomb now lives to die no more.
It was when Jesus called her by name that Mary believed (cf. Jn. 20:16). It was when she heard again the tenderness in the voice of the One who had forgiven her once before that she recognized the Gardener of Paradise Regained as her Teacher and Lord (cf. Jn. 20:15-16). It was only after she had a personal encounter with the Risen Christ that she could leave the tomb and announce to the disciples that she had seen the Lord (cf. Jn. 20:15-18).
It isn’t the lilies and the hydrangeas in bloom that makes me know that Jesus is risen. It isn’t the lighted Paschal Candle, the gold vestments, or the loud alleluias. I believe that the Lord now lives to die no more when I touch the waters of Baptism and remember that once before He has called me by name, tenderly washed my sins away, and took me as His own.
How about you? What would it take for you to believe?