Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Peter and the beloved disciple had visited the empty tomb and saw the burial cloths there. They left in amazement, but Mary Magdalene alone remained there in a sort of vigil. Her weeping communicates the state of her distress, but it also expresses to us the degree of her love. Mary Magdalene alone waited—patiently she waited. Jesus had preached, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Mt 5:4). Mary indeed would be comforted very soon and in a far greater way than she could expect. Though she mistakes Jesus for the gardener, Mary recognizes Jesus at the very moment he utters her name. Mary Magdalene only knows it is Jesus when he calls her by name.
Our life of faith must be marked by the same patient waiting that Mary demonstrates. In the midst of grief and difficulties, or even dryness in prayer, it is difficult to perceive that the Lord is near. And, even when He does draw near, it’s easy to mistake His presence and be too distraught, or too weighed down in our hearts to acknowledge Him. The Lord calls us by name, which is to say, He speaks to our hearts in a message of tenderness that is unique and personal. We should never think that Jesus has abandoned us, but that He waits for us to sit quietly in prayer, looking for Him. It is in the silence of hearts, when the other voices or distracting thoughts have gone away, that He comes to us. The Divine Teacher desires to have a conversation with us that will bring comfort and hope.
Reflection Question: How do you make yourself more available to hearing the voice of the Lord?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB