Maybe they were too hasty. Peter, and the other disciple who ran with him to the tomb after Mary shared the news that Jesus’ body was no longer there. They ducked in and ducked out. Maybe if they’d stayed with their grief a little longer, there in that early morning dawn, they, too, might have met the resurrected Jesus as Mary did, where she knelt weeping in the grass. Then again, maybe Jesus had always intended for it to be Mary who would come to know the good news first.
A woman in patriarchal man’s society and world; a woman would be the first to have Jesus open her eyes to the truth that the resurrection was real, that death and hell had been conquered and Jesus was alive. There’s a popular Christian song with the lyrics, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you. I want to see you.”
But we can’t see Jesus, at least not on our own. Jesus has to say Mary’s name for her to recognize that he’s not the gardener, but her teacher and the Messiah – Savior of the nations, come. Jesus is always calling to us in this life; not just as the fifty days of Easter begin, but every day; Jesus is always calling to us in this life, always busy naming us. Julius. Rochelle. Ben. Klaus. Zhanna. Lisa. Gwen. Rebecca. Doug. Christine. Paul and all of you, and even me!