Scripture: 1st Reading: 2Cor5,14-17; Resp. Psalm: Ps.63,2-6,8-9; Gospel: Jn20,1-2,11-18
The motivation for our lives is the love of Christ. We live and move and have our being on the foundation of that love. We go through this valley of tears because we know and are confident of the power of that love. It urges us on to go beyond ourselves and reach into the depths of God.
The love of Christ was demonstrated to us in a supreme fashion when He died for us all. There is no greater love than this. He did not live for Himself. He lived for us. He came to earth for us so that He could die for us. Because our Lord lived and died for us, thus giving us an example to follow, we are no longer to live for ourselves but for Him who died for our sake and was raised. This is why believers have an example to follow.
Our Lord died and rose. He is no longer of the flesh but glorified at His Father's right hand. That glory is ours for the asking if we live no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. This us because having been bought by Christ the Lord Himself at so great a price, we are now in Christ as a new creation; the old has passed away, the new has come.
As new creation redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, there should be a thirst in our hearts and souls for the living and true God. This is the thirst described by the Psalmist in today's Psalm as the thirst experienced by a dry, wary land. This is the thirst that the deer feels when it longs for running streams. This thirst is the yearning the soul has for the living and true God.
The life of St. Mary Magdalene exemplified this thirst for the living God. Mary encountered our Lord at a certain point in her turbulent life. From that encounter, a profound peace descended on the wandering soul of this passionate but misdirected lover of God. Mary's love from this point was uni-directional: our Lord became everything to this woman.
Mary Magdalene achieved a perfect union of love with the Master in her soul. She and other women provided for our Lord and His Apostles on His saving missions. They did all this out of their own means. She was ready to die for Him. It was therefore no wonder that she was the first to see the Risen Lord after His resurrection and became the privileged one to take His message to the Apostles.
We see Mary's uncommon and unconditional love for our Lord shown in her courage. She went to the tomb early in the morning of the first day of the week, that is, early that Sunday morning that changed the history of humanity. When she couldn't find the body of our Lord in the tomb, she stood there weeping, stooped to look into the tomb, saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
We see Mary's love in her sadness that the body of the Lord had disappeared and that she did not know where it was. We see her love in her response to the "supposed" gardener: "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Her love was perfect. Little wonder then that our Lord opened her eyes to see Him. To show how great the love of this woman is, she was privileged with seeing the Risen One before He ascended to the Father.
So great a love. So great a commitment to the Lord. So undivided a focus and vision. So uncompromising a devotion to the One she encountered and whose love transformed her entire sinful life. The word of God today calls us to imitate the virtues of this great daughter of Zion. Her life story shows us that there is no state of life we are that we cannot become Saints if we truly give our lives to the Lord. May she intercede for us in our different crises of faith. May she entreat our Lord to fill our hearts with the same ardent love for Him.
Let us pray: "O God, whose Only Begotten Son entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection, grant, we pray, that, through her intercession and example, we may proclaim the living Christ and come to see him reigning in your glory." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.