Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark. St. John is the only evangelist that places the discovery of the empty tomb in the darkness of night. The resurrection took place in darkness on the first day, before there was any light.
In Genesis, on the first day, there was darkness, until God said, “Let there be light.” Now, at the resurrection, there is another “first day.” It also begins in darkness and dawns in the dazzling light of the risen Christ. A new creation has begun.
Mary Magdalene has love, but the gift of faith has not yet been awakened in her heart. She only sees an empty tomb. She is immersed in darkness. She tells Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved, that the body of Jesus has been taken away. There is darkness outside, and there is darkness within their hearts. Peter runs with the other disciple through the darkness to the tomb, and they see that it is truly empty. But when the disciple whom Jesus loved goes into the empty tomb he sees and believes. The dawn of the first day in a new creation penetrates his darkness and fills him with the dazzling light of faith in the resurrection.
The beloved disciple represents all of us. We live in the midst of the world as living sacraments reflecting the light of the resurrection. When our hearts burn with love for the risen Christ, and his light shines in our hearts and through our faces, we light the way for others to eternal life. The resurrection of Christ reveals that death is not the end but a passing from a life of faith to a life of seeing, from an old creation to a new creation.
At dawn Mary Magdalene will see the risen Christ with her own eyes. Then she will proclaim: “I have seen the Lord!” Today we see and taste the goodness of the Lord by faith and love. Later on, when we have finished with the old creation, we will see God with our own eyes. We will see God, and live!