For Mary Magdalene, it ends with tears, disbelief, and then, a conviction that has earned her the title, “apostle to the apostles.” What ends for her? It is what for centuries has been called the triduum—Latin for “three days.” It is the three days from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
John 20 records how she goes to the tomb, and instead of finding the body of Jesus, she is greeted by two angels. And when she does see Jesus—alive!—she mistakes him for the gardener. After Mary realizes the incredible, outrageous, and wonderful truth, the other disciples (the men) refuse to believe her.
What’s been going on for those three days? Why are they the three days like none other?
What is going on with the disciples? Surely they have feelings of grief, anguish, and fear. Perhaps there are voices of self-recrimination welling up within them. “What were we thinking? How could we have believed him?”
Those three days are an interim time like none other. There were so many things they talked about. There were so many dreams. There was so much that they felt like they could accomplish. Still, didn’t he make that strange comment that they would do even “greater works”? (John 14:12).
This is a model for interim time for all places and all seasons. It is a time for the birthing of dreams and visions. It is a time for seeing a new thing, for singing a new song. Still, not everything gets done. Not everything that we feel is important gets accomplished. We might try some things, and then realize that they really aren’t what we need. (At least, not now.)
And there’s always the astonishing discovery of what we were sure was dead coming back to life!
Your partner on this Easter journey (the Easter season begins this year on the 20th of this month)…
(The upper image is from www.overheardinthesacristy.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/mary-magdalene.jpg, and the lower one is from hergracedevata.blogspot.com/2011/03/mary-magdalene-high-priestess-of.html.)