The Resurrection recapitulates the story of Divine Love. It is the story of loving surprise and surprise in love. In today’s gospel, we learn from the most openhearted and passionate and marginalized how to search and receive, how to open our hearts and lives to love.
Mary of Magdala journeyed through the shadow of the ignominious crucifixion of rabbi Jesus to reach the tomb of Love. She comes in love and in grief, ready to honor his body with the rituals of their people. But the grave is empty.
She weeps and wanders and wonders: Where is the Lord of her heart’s desire? For her, no angelic words can comfort (Jn. 20: 11-14). Still, the impossible, hopeful surprise: Jesus speaks her name and she turns in love’s recognition of the voice of the One who is the Lord of her heart’s desire. “Rabboni,” she cries! She is missioned to announce what is the greatest surprise and hope of life —the enduring Love of God.
- How will I respond today to Jesus’ invitation to announce life?
- How will I embody the freedom and new life that Jesus means?
Dr. M. Shawn Copeland is Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College. She is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), and a former Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars.
Professor Copeland is a prolific author, with more than 100 publications to her credit, including “Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being” and “The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille.” She is the recipient of five honorary degrees as well as the Yves Congar Award for Excellence in Theology from Barry University, Miami, Florida, and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Black Religious Scholars Group of the American Academy of Religion.
Dr. Copeland’s research interests include: 1) shifts in theological understanding of the human person and accords particular attention to body, gender, and race; 2) the African American Catholic experience, and 3) political or praxis based theologies.