Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
There it is. The simple, one word lesson that encompasses all that Christ has tried to teach us. The one word which conveys all the love Christ proclaimed with His suffering death. He whispers “Mary” in the dim light before new day. She, undoubtedly beaten down by the emotions and images of the prior day, may well have not slept. She returned before dawn to the tomb, compelled to complete the burial rituals they had been unable to complete the day before because of the impending Sabbath.
Even in the darkness, she saw that the immense stone blocking the tomb had been rolled away. Surely her first thoughts were those of panic and even anger because she had witnessed the vicious, evil and unfair treatment Jesus had suffered the day before by those who tormented and put Him finally, to death. They might have stolen his body as another way of inflicting injury on Him.
She saw a man standing at the head of the burial bench, and in the darkness, blinded by her tears, she failed to recognize Jesus until He spoke that one simple word which encompassed all of Christ’s love: “Mary”.
No other words were necessary to impart His love for not only Mary, but for all of us, His people. Upon hearing her name, Mary’s choked reply was simply, “Rabbi”, addressing Him not as the Man she knew, but in the redemptive role His life had always been. Do I know you when You call me, Lord, or am I blinded by the pain and anger of this world?
Ray Alonzo is the father of three children, grandfather of two, and husband to Jan for 45 years. He is a USN Vietnam Veteran, and a 1969 graduate of Mother of Good Counsel Passionist Prep Seminary. Ray currently serves on the Passionist Alumni Council.