There is a sweet irony, perhaps several, in St Peter’s hosting this service for the Feast of Mary Magdalene, one which makes this traditional gospel for the day more than appropriate.
John’s gospel is among the later to be written. The footrace, on the one hand so exuberant and on the other, so competitive, between Peter and John (or the other disciple) reflects within the text a certain struggle for leadership. Between Mary’s discovery of the empty tomb and her encounter with the Risen Lord, it poses the question: Who got there first? Well, John is fleeter and arrives first, but Peter entered in first, but then John looked around and was first to believe. Is this a carefully negotiated settlement or what? Continue reading