April 17, 2022, Easter Sunday
Jacqueline Sanchez-Small OSB, Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA
It’s too bad that the lectionary cuts today’s Gospel passage off after “they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” By ending the story there, the narrative is centered on the interactions between Peter and John, instead of on the exchange between Mary Magdalene and the risen Christ that follows these verses. But breaking the story at that point also raises questions: Which characters in a story have we been taught to see as relatable or significant? Why are the stories of women so infrequently read from the ambo? And what do we miss when we get caught up in the kinds of patriarchal ways of relating to each other that Peter and John demonstrate?
In the section of John 20 that is excluded from the lectionary, Mary shows what can happen when, instead of getting caught up in the patriarchy’s competitions, power struggles, and need for certainty, we open ourselves to the transformative power of authentic encounter with God.