How many of us try to create God in our own image and likeness and end up with a very shrunken conception of him! Again and again the disciples failed to understand Jesus or what he was about. They wanted a king, a political leader, someone who, humanly speaking, was a success. Instead they got a ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ who died a criminal’s inglorious death. The women didn’t understand, either, but at least they stayed with Jesus to the end, along with the Beloved Disciple; and Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb, weeping, once they had performed the last offices for the dead. And then? And then it was Easter. Mary saw Jesus through her tears and saw more clearly than any of the others, because she saw with a heart washed clean by love.
What happens next is a lesson for us all. Mary is told not to cling to Jesus but to go to the disciples and tell what she has seen. She is the apostle of the apostles, announcing the Resurrection. Peter and John will later verify the truth of what she has asserted, but for now, she is the messenger, entrusted with a great joy. The same is true for us. Whatever graces we may be given, whatever insight or understanding we may be granted, is not for ourself alone, but we lay our insights and understanding before the Church, that they may be verified. We, too, are just messengers — and what a glory that is!