Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 17 about St. Mary Magdalene “as an apostle of the hope brought by the Gospel.”
“Saint John tells us on Easter morning Mary had gone to the tomb of Jesus; she saw that it was empty, and returned to tell this news to Peter and the other disciples,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Returning to the tomb, yet still not understanding what had happened, Mary encounters the Risen Lord, but does not recognize him until he calls her by name.”
“This first appearance of Jesus after rising from the dead is thus something intensely personal,” he continued. “We know that just as he did with Mary Magdalene, so too Jesus calls each of us by name and fills us with joy at his presence.”
The Pope added:
Our encounter with him brings freedom and opens up new vistas of life; it transforms our world and brings undying hope. The risen Lord tells Mary not to cling to him, but to go and tell the good news of his resurrection to the others.
Mary Magdalene thus becomes the apostle of Christian hope. By her prayers, may we encounter anew the risen Lord, who calls us by name, turns our sorrow into joy, and sends us forth to proclaim by our lives that he is truly risen.