Isn’t this the most beautiful story ever? Very early on the first day of the week - on Sunday morning, while it was still dark - Mary Magdalene has come back to the garden tomb where Jesus was buried and finds the tomb empty.
After alerting Peter and another disciple, who confirm what she has seen but then go home, Mary can’t leave. She is weeping. And then, amazingly, she sees and speaks with two angels in white inside the tomb.
And even more amazingly, she turns and sees someone she supposes to be the gardener, but we know that it’s Jesus. And Jesus comes to her and calls her name and it is then that she recognizes him, for Jesus is the good shepherd who knows his sheep by name... and the sheep know him by the sound of his voice, and they will come when he calls.
Mary, he says. Rabbouni! My very own teacher! she answers.
There’s a leap of faith that happens, for us at least, we who did not have the experience that Mary and later Peter and Thomas and the others had.
We experience Jesus in the Eucharist, and we see the bread and the wine, but Jesus himself remains hidden, and yet present in our midst. Another holy mystery.
Jesus lived the way we ought to live, with integrity; without malice or jealousy or greed; without cheating or lying or trying to get ahead; without getting caught up in one-upping other people; without scorn or conceit or soul-sucking cynicism.
And so that means that Jesus is not here to show the world today what God is like.
To show the world that God desires wholeness; that love heals; that touching the stranger and clothing the naked and visiting the sick and imprisoned and feeding the hungry is the work God has given us to do here and now.