Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio Agra, 3 April 2018
Gospel: John: 20: 11-18
Today’s Gospel describes the apparition of Jesus to Mary Magdalene. The death of her great friend prompts Mary to lose her sense of life. But she does not give up her search. She goes to the tomb in order to meet again the one whom death has taken away. 
In the way of describing the apparition of Jesus to Mary Magdalene one is aware of the different stages of the road that she had to follow, of the sorrowful search until the time of the encounter at Easter. 
There was a very strong love between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. She was one of the few persons who had the courage to remain with Jesus up to the moment of His death on the Cross. After the obligatory rest on Saturday, she goes back to the tomb to be in the place where she had seen her beloved for the last time. 
But, surprisingly, the tomb is empty! The angels ask her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” and her response is, “They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him!” Mary Magdalene looked for Jesus, that Jesus whom she had known for three years. 
Mary Magdalene speaks with Jesus without knowing Him. The disciples at Emmaus saw Jesus but they did not recognize Him. She thinks that Jesus is the gardener. She was still looking for the Jesus of the past, the same one of three days before. 
And just as the angels had done, Jesus also asks, “Why are you weeping?” and He adds, “Whom are you looking for?”. And it is precisely the image of the Jesus of the past which prevents her from recognizing the living Jesus, who is present before her.
Jesus pronounces her name: “Mary!” This was the signal to recognize Him: the same voice, the same way of pronouncing her name. She answers, “Master!”. And thus is fulfilled what the Parable of the Good Shepherd said: “He calls them by name and they recognize His voice”. “I know My sheep and My sheep know Me” (Jn 10:3, 4, 14).
Mary Magdalene receives the mission to announce the resurrection to the apostles. In fact, it is the same Jesus, but the way of being together with her is not the same as before. Jesus tells her, “Do not cling to me, because I have not as yet ascended to the Father!” He goes toward the Father. Mary Magdalene has to let Jesus go and assume her mission: to announce to the brothers that He, Jesus, has ascended to the Father. Jesus has opened up the way for us and thus, once more, God is close to us.