Monday, April 13, 2009

Daily - 4/13/09

John 20:11-18 (Tues gospel)

11 But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb

12 and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.

13 And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him."

14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him."

16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher.

17 Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

18 Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what he told her.
(relying heavily on Barclay again this morning)

Mary Magdalene had great love for Christ. According to tradition, she was an adulteress and perhaps even a prostitute. Her belief in Christ completely liberated her from that life, and she owed everything to Him.

In Palestine it was a tradition for family and loved ones to visit a grave for three days. So Mary, who loved Jesus so dearly, came ... and was bewildered with what she saw. Her Lord was gone. She didn't know what to do. She ran to John and Peter, and they outran her to the tomb. They see, believe, and run off. Mary either arrives after them or is left alone by them; regardless, she stands alone, not yet understanding. She thinks the body has been taken.

To Mary comes the great grace of being the first to see the risen Christ. But because of her racing mind, her tears, and her great grief she doesn't recognize Him.

Sound familiar? It does to me.

I'm pretty good at putting barriers between myself and Christ, to the point where I cannot see him. There are a lot of reasons for that, but pride is usually the biggest one. I'm too busy with my own stuff. Job, wife, kids, making a living, what will happen on the next episode of "24", Nebraska football, birdwatching, my son's baseball team, my ridiculously bad golf game, catching fish ... the list is endless. At times, I'll put any or ALL of those things in front of Christ.
I know we all do it, but just spend a minute thinking about that. He is risen! The Risen Lord is right here, in front of us. He's given us his own body and blood through the Eucharist, which transforms us into the people He wants us to be. We just need to fully reach out and take that gift.

And there's the rub -- we get so caught up in "the world" tht we close our minds, hearts, and souls to the great graces that He wants to give us. Thank goodness that, just like with Mary, Christ calls us out of our fog, and says, "Look at me, I'm right here in front of you."