Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mary Magdalene at the Open Tomb

                “My dear beloved Lord, as we focus on Mary Magdalene today, my heart cries out to her. I see her heading to Your tomb in the early hours of the morning before the sun had risen. The cool air of dawn surrounds her as she walks in the darkness both outside and inside her heart. She is burdened with deep sorrow at the loss of her beloved Jesus who saved her from her life of sin. That sorrow weighs heavily on her, bowing her head and making each step to the tomb heavy and slow. She doesn’t know what she seeks, just some sense of comfort by being near His body laid in the tomb.
                “As she approaches, her deep sorrow and sense of loss is intensified at the sight of the open tomb. Not only did they take His life, but now they have even taken His body. She hesitates in confusion and then runs in anguish to the empty tomb. She sobs, ‘Where is He? Where have they taken Him?’ She peers inside looking for some clue and sees the angels in white. That sight doesn’t ease her sadness. They ask her why she is weeping. She explains, ‘They have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have laid him, (Jn 20:13).’ I can feel her anguish. She looks around and then sees Jesus standing but she doesn’t recognize Him. Thinking He is the gardener, she begs Him for help, ‘Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him and I will take Him, (Jn 20:15).’ Finally, Jesus reveals Himself to her when He calls her by name, ‘Mary.’ At that moment, she cries out ‘Rabbouni,’ which means teacher in Hebrew. She is in awe, confused but filled with joy and peace. She no longer questions, she just believes and He instructs her to go share this news with the disciples, to tell them, ‘I am going to My Father and your Father, to my God and your God, (Jn 20:17).’
                 “But You also tell her not to touch You as she reaches out to You. Why do You tell her not to touch You? I would want to reach out to You, to touch You in that moment. Does that mean we try to hold on to things before Your work is completed? Do we let our own selfish desires for comfort get in the way of Your work? Your Plan? Are we so impatient to satisfy our immediate need for You that we can’t wait for the whole plan to materialize?
                “Oh dear Lord, help me to be patient. Help me to be content to walk with You on the journey, yet be able to let You leave and do what You must to complete Your plan of salvation. Help me remember that You are always with us, whether we recognize it or not. At the moments You reveal Your presence to us, whether it be in other people, places, nature or events, help us to appreciate that moment, be invigorated and refreshed and then be able to go on and do whatever You ask of us. Help me to remember that it is all part of Your plan of salvation, salvation for us all that we may be together for eternity. Everything here and now is temporary and designed to prepare us for a future where time no longer exists and the ecstasy of being together is continual and never ceasing. Forgive me for my impatience when I reach out to cling to You in a moment of time. Help me to be like fluid, willing to flow through time with You propelled by our deep love for each other and by the hope of eternity together.
                “Dear Mary Magdelene, I join you in the early dawn at the open tomb.”

My Heart Aches for Those who Suffer

                “My Lord, my God, I humbly bow my head and tremble in Your presence but my heart races and my breath quickens as the love swells in my heart for You. What do You ask of me today? I have many thoughts of how to show my love for You but they are all jumbled in my brain swirling around like bees buzzing around a patch of flowers. I am not sure which way to go. Show me Your will dear Lord that I may answer with Mary’s fiat.
                “My heart aches especially for those who are suffering due to the injustices done unto them by their loved ones. Their suffering is so great and so deep in their hearts, like the way You must have felt when Judas sealed Your fate and fulfilled the prophecy by his kiss. You loved him like a brother and yet he turned on You. Yes, there was a necessary purpose for that act but that doesn’t lessen the pain of the betrayal. This must be how those who have been unjustly wronged feel. How can they forgive when the cuts are so deep?
                “Oh Lord, show them Your merciful heart. Show them how much You love everyone, unconditionally. Show them how Your sacrifice on the cross is the only true reparation that could be paid for the enormity of sin and pain that people cause. You shed Your blood, You endured torture and intense pain, You accepted ridiculous ridicule for absolutely nothing You did, but for all that everyone else did. You were completely innocent and offered only love and a message of hope for a better life for all eternity. Comfort those who are hurting, those who also offered only love and a promise to live a good life with their loved ones and yet were repaid with betrayal which tortured their hearts, causing intense emotional and physical pain and ridicule from their loved ones and even those around them. Oh dear Lord, draw these suffering souls deep into Your blessed Sacred Heart that they may feel the healing power of Your mercy.
                “May those who have hurt their loved ones also be healed through Your great mercy and love. May they also be brought deep into Your blessed Sacred Heart that they may be bathed in Your sacrificial blood and forgiven. May they feel Your love for them as You hung on the cross, Your precious blood dripping out as You shed every drop of blood for all humanity. May they recognize how they don’t deserve any mercy and yet You freely give it out of love. May that mercy cleanse them and fill them with love and a desire to reconcile with their families. May they be like Peter who, though he denied knowing You, he came back and sought forgiveness and became the rock of the Church. May they not be lost in despair at the gravity of their sins like Judas who once he turned from You, he never came back and was lost in misery and despair, ultimately ending his own life.
                “Only You have the power to heal these great wounds. Only You can help the wounded grow from their suffering. Only You can soften the hardened hearts of those who have caused so much pain. Dear Mother Mary, untie the complicated knots of the mess these people’s lives have become. Untie their knots and send them to Your Son to be healed, to be loved, to be reconciled, and to be set back on their paths to eternity. Oh dear Lord, I pray with all my heart and soul for those wounded as such. I suffer for them with You and I long to rejoice with You at their healing.”

Where are You in all the Suffering?

“Oh dear Lord, I hesitantly ask You, Where are You in all the horror in the world? Where are You in the land where the Islam Isis group is killing innocent people just for saying they believe in You? Where are You when thousands upon thousands of families are being driven from their homeland just for saying they believe in You? Oh dear Lord, where are You with these modern day martyrs? Where were You when the saints and faithful throughout history were being killed, tortured, maimed just for saying they believe in You? Oh dear Lord, it breaks my heart to think of all those who suffered simply because they believed in the truth. Dear Lord, forgive me for being so bold, but where are You when Your faithful suffer so?”

“I am on the cross for them, with them and for those who persecute them. I am in their hearts and souls, fortifying their faith. I am in the hearts and souls of all the compassionate who cry for them, who pray for them, who do penance for them and for their accusers. I am in your heart right now as you cry out in anguish over their plight. I am strengthening your faith and your hope in Me. I am making you and others holy; holy by joining us as one, one body, My body, on the cross saving the souls of all humanity. We are one; we are on the cross.”