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Jacob Boddicker S.J.Apr 2, 2024 12:00:00 AM2 min read

2 April 2024

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

When Jesus died, the Gospel notes that “…in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried,” (John 19:41). Thus when Jesus speaks to Mary from the entrance of the tomb, the light of the rising sun shining behind Him and perhaps making it difficult for her to see His shadowed face, she thinks Him to be the gardener. Who else would be in the garden so early in the morning?

There is far more going on here, however, than a happy reunion. This is a new beginning; this is a New Genesis. In the beginning, during “…the breezy time of the day…” (Genesis 3:8), likely before sunset, the Lord God was walking through Eden where Adam and Eve were hiding. “Where are you?” He calls out (Genesis 3:9). After their Fall is revealed and the consequences declared, Adam “…gave his wife the name ‘Eve,’ because she was the mother of all the living,” (Genesis 3:20).

Upon the Cross the New Adam—Jesus—transforms the timbers of death into the Tree of Life, His own Flesh and Blood the fruit upon it which one must eat in order to have life (John 6:53). Like Adam naming the Woman (Genesis 2:23) He addresses His mother as “woman” (John 19:26): on Calvary what took place in Eden was undone. Just as after the Fall humanity entered into a new reality under sin, today in the garden, not as the sun is setting but as it is rising, at the tomb where Death itself died, humanity enters into a new reality of grace. Instead of being driven out of the garden because of sin, Mary Magdalene is called by name to go forth and share the good news with the apostles, who would go forth to share the Gospel with the world. Though Our Lady is, truly, the “mother of all the living” because she is the mother of all those alive in Christ, in a way Mary Magdalene, now bearing within her the life-giving Gospel, becomes through her evangelization the mother of all those who will receive new life through the Good News.

In Eden was the Fall; on Calvary fallen humanity was raised up again. In Eden mankind was driven out from God’s presence, no more to see the face of God: in this new garden near Calvary humanity is called back, first by the voice of Mary Magdalene crying, “I have seen the Lord!”