This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
From Through Moses to Jesus, commenting on John 20:11-17 when Mary found the empty tomb:
In this, as in innumerable other gospel passages, Jesus exercises the role of consoler. If Moses is the man of big numbers, Jesus is the man of small numbers. He takes one person or another at a time; he stops to chat; he waits until the other understands, until the person undergoes a process of purification and can finally open his or her eyes and see. We might well ask why the Lord wastes so much time with Mary of Magdala? Why does he wait until she matures, sees and understands? Why does he not immediately say who he is? Jesus gives her time. The same things happens with the two disciples from Emmaus. He first spends almost two hours in accompanying them. At last there is the supper. How much time he squanders while the whole world is waiting for him to reveal his resurrection! The apostles are in tears, Peter is still bewildered, the good people in Jerusalem are grieving and thinking now everything is at an end. It is all very strange. The fact is that here we see the logic of the lost sheep. The ninety-nine are there waiting, but he goes looking for the one straggler. It is the logic of the lost coin, of the attention bestowed on the son who does not work instead of on the son who is productive, the mysterious logic of God's particularization, God seems to get lost in the individual, willingly concealing himself in the most minute and most simple things, in the things for which we have neither the time nor the leisure that would enable us to attend to them. We are tempted to assert that, in cases concerning an entire group, the group should be cared for. Jesus, however say, "The group can wait. I am attending to this particular person." In conclusion, Moses has neither time nor friends whereas Jesus has both. This is the difference between the Mosaic law and the gospel. (Carlo Maria Martini)
Thanks to my missionary friend Carol for sending me this quote.