John 20:1-2, 11-18

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

Whom are you looking for? (John 20:15)

We are all very familiar with the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus on Easter Sunday. But as often as we hear it, the tale never gets old. Why is that?

First, this story tells us that Mary’s devotion was so deep because of all Jesus had done for her. Mary never forgot that Jesus had freed her from demonic possession and called her to follow him. We may not be possessed, but we do know how much sin has a hold on us. Mary’s story tells us that no matter how dark our darkness may seem, Jesus has the power to set us free.

Second, this story tells us that Jesus reaches out to everyone who loves him. No doubt Mary’s heart was broken when she discovered that Jesus’ body was missing. She may not have known where Jesus was, but Jesus knew where she was—staying faithfully by his tomb. All the others had gone home, but Mary remained. And for that she was rewarded.

Is there a restlessness in your heart when you are at Mass or in prayer? Are your heart and your head in a battle, with your heart longing for Jesus but your mind preoccupied with many other things? Do you find yourself longing—even weeping—because you feel so far from the Lord? If so, do what Mary did. Seek Jesus. Linger by the “tombs” in your life, and you’ll find him there. Wait for him to come and minister to you!

Third, love always sends us out. Love for our spouse impels us to move out of our comfort zones. Love for our children moves us to teach and guide them, even when we’d rather take the day off. Love for Jesus and for his people will compel us to go and tell others about the Lord and his power and mercy. Love will move us to tell people about his salvation. Love will inspire us to echo Mary Magdalene’s words to the other disciples: “I have seen the Lord” (20:18)!

“Lord, we long to see you. Call us by name and show yourself to us.”

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 85:2-8

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