Thursday, 23 July 2009

She Continued to Hope

Posted: 21 Jul 2009 09:00 PM PDT

Ex 16:1-5, 9-15 / Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

Pay special attention to the responses Mary Magdalene makes in today’s Gospel. When she responds to the angels, she says “they have taken the Lord. . . .” When she speaks to Jesus, she says “they have taken my Lord. . . .”

This is not a “difference that makes no difference.” Rather, it shows the depth of anguish Mary is feeling. Her attachment to Jesus is not like the fantasy of The DaVinci Code. It is the attachment of one who has known the pains and losses — the terrors — this life can put someone in. She has seen the hope and the promise of Israel standing before her in Jesus, and now so much has changed.

Did she understand much more than the other disciples? I doubt it. But she stood without fear of the world, without fear of whomever she had to, just to be near the one she hoped in. And without understanding, she continued to hope — somehow hoping and trusting that His words would prove true. And they were. He was alive! With one word, one name, her trust was rewarded.

And for us? What word does Jesus speak to our souls in the midst of all our world fills us with? All the war, the terror, the droughts, the hurricanes, the murders. Our late Holy Father gave us that “word” in a phrase that has echoed through from the very start of his pontificate: “Be not afraid.”

Jesus’ one word to Mary removed her fears, her doubts. It restored more than just her teacher (rabboni), it restored her very soul.

Maybe what you need to hear today is more than “be not afraid.” Maybe it is less than your own name. Maybe it is enough to just hear Him say “I’m here.” Whatever He has to say to you — just listen. Then respond in His love.

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