March 27, 2016

Seeking like Mary Magdalene

Blessed Easter! May the joy of our Risen Lord fill your heart with His joy and peace! 

        Mary Magdalene and her story of encounter with the Risen Lord has often been a favorite meditation of mine. Throughout the time of our Lord’s Passion, Mary’s deep love for Our Lord compels her to walk with Him experiencing His Passion and Death. Her grief was so deep because she loved much. She knew Jesus, she knew Love. Mary Magdalene walks with Our Lady, who must have also taught her love by receiving Mary Magdalen into her heart. What were those encounters like for Mary Magdalen, between her and the Mother of God. She must have known Mary well to remain with Our Lady during Christ’s Passion. She must have known the deep love, mercy and kindness Mary had towards Mary Magdalene after her conversion from her previous sinful life. She knew Christ through His Mother.

When Mary Magdalen goes to the tomb and finds the tomb empty, her heart sinks once again with grief.  Mary’s heart cries out as in Song of Songs, “I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him” (Songs of Songs 3:1). She is searching for the One her heart belongs to. She searches in her grief which is more than her hope. At this moment she remains on the earthly, what her physical eyes see but not what her spiritual eyes can see. The spiritual eyes struggle to tell her of the Bridegroom’s Resurrection. Mary Magdalene is tossed into a sea of anxiety, with the waves of confusion and fear and deep sorrow. Her peace is gone and through her weeping, frantically she searches, begging anyone who may come near her to give Him back to her. Little does Mary know how close her Beloved is to her. 

What must Jesus have been thinking in the moment as He watches her from a distance, knowing every emotion racing through her mind and heart? This beloved friend of His. I can’t help but think that Our Lord sees one of His beautiful creatures and is overcome with the love His little one has for Him. He sees the love her heart bears in the desire to be united with Him. This is the union He so desires with each of His beloved children. A union of love so deep, that if ever to be separated, His creature would search madly to find Him. This was Magdalene’s deepest fear, to be separated completely from Our Lord. In her grief, the Lord must have been moved with pity to console this poor Magdalene and change her sorrow in to indescribable joy! So He approaches her. His Sacred Heart must have beaten so intensely for His little one to see that He was bringing light into her darkness.  

As Jesus speaks, He speaks with the same endearing words as He spoke with His Mother, “Woman”. “Woman, why are you weeping.”  Mary Magdalene is unable to see or look upon the man who is speaking to her. She only hears and expresses her grief, asking, pleading for the man to show and give her the one she so desperately loves. She doesn’t recognize His voice. The moment she does recognizes who is speaking to her is in the moment that Jesus calls her by name, “Mary!”  By calling her by name, Jesus shakes her and it is as if time has stopped and her heart is flooded with joy. She has heard Him call her by name before. How could she ever forget the sweet and gentle way He had always called to her? It is as if the chains of fear, anxiety and every ounce of confusion is broken and replaced with inexpressible joy! She knew the voice of her Bridegroom when He so strongly called to her. 

Just like this beautiful account in Scripture, Jesus also calls to us in the confusion, fears and anxieties we face every day. Do you hear Him calling out to you in your confusion, your sorrows, in the very depth of the pain in your heart. Listen, He calls to you! He calls you. He says your name with such sweetness and gentleness. He tells you “Look, I am here, I am here and will not leave you. Recognize Me.”  Will you turn to see Him standing there with you in your heart? Will you allow Him to tell you how much you are loved? Let His loving Heart consume every fear, worry, and drop of confusion. Rejoice in the truth that you are deeply loved and belong to Him. Do you feel your heart searching for Him and the unrest it feels until it rests upon His Heart? 

       “Comfort me, you whom I love! It is because you are so little that you are able to rest so deeply in my Heart.” 

 - Sister M. Isabella, FSGM

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