Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
“Why are you weeping?” he asks! “Why not weep?” would be my reply. How can I keep from crying when the one I love with all my heart is gone? I have no idea if I will ever see Him again! My life is black, dark, and empty like the tomb by which I stand. And then, it’s Him! He’s right here with me! I run to hold him, and what does he say? “Stop holding on to me.” I am stunned! How can He say that to me? Doesn’t he know me better than that? Doesn’t he know that my arms ache to hold him, my hands long to touch his face, my heart’s only desire is to love him and cling to him and never let go?
I have tremendous admiration for Mary Magdalene and the great strength she displayed in not just falling in a heap at Jesus’ feet, sobbing. What good is the resurrection, I would wonder, if that meant that I couldn’t hold Him? Yet here, she accepted his almost cold words “Stop holding on to me”, and joyfully shared the news of His resurrection with the other disciples. Mary Magdalene was so selfless and generous with the love of Christ. I am selfish and self-centered in comparison. Shame fills my heart when I think of how I want Jesus all for myself, without any thought for all the others who love Him, as well as all of the others whom He loves.
So, Mary Magdalene, I turn to you today on this your feast day, and I ask you to pray for me. I ask you to pray that I may be able to follow your example of strength and integrity. I pray that I may learn to love without the fulfillment of holding the One I love in my arms, but only holding Him in my heart. And I pray that I may be able to love all of the others that Jesus also loves, without any trace of jealousy, but rather with compassion and understanding for their own longing for Christ.
St. Mary Magdalene, pray for me. Amen.