Thursday, April 13, 2006

JESUS SAID TO HER, MARY!

Mary Magdalene was at the tomb of Jesus, weeping. The tomb was empty; Jesus’ Body was gone. She informed the Apostles. Immediately, Peter and John ran to the tomb. It was empty. Totally perplexed, they left. Mary remained, weeping. Suddenly, she saw someone she did not recognize. "Woman, why are you weeping? Who is it that you are looking for?" Mary responded: "Sir, if you are the one who carried him off, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away." Our Savior simply said: "Mary!" Immediately, she recognized Him. It was the most electrifying moment in all of human history. Mary Magdalene's desolation turned into supreme joy.

Isn't it interesting that Our Lord's first recorded appearance after His Resurrection was to Mary Magdalene? She was the great sinner from whom He had driven seven devils. Yet, it was for the Marys of the world that He became Man. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came for the lost sheep. No one was more lost than Mary Magdalene.

Most Fathers of the Church agree that Mary Magdalene was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Faithful Israelites, they had become dear friends of the Lord. Yet, somehow their younger sister went astray. In her youth, Mary left home for the seaport resort of Magdala where the idle rich went to play and sin. With shameless abandon, she plunged into all the pleasures of this world. Mary broke the hearts of her brother and sister.

Then, one day, Mary saw the Lord. How they met matters not! When Mary's eyes met the eyes of Jesus, her search for this world's fleeting pleasures ended. She had found Infinite Love in Jesus, the Son of God. Deep remorse came over her. She repented of her many sins, never to sin again. From that moment, she never left the Lord. The great sinner became a great saint.

Throughout Holy Week we find her with Jesus. What a comfort it is to know that, in Mary, we repentant sinners are also with Our Lord. She washes His feet with her tears of repentance. Her tears represent our tears. On Calvary she is at the foot of the Cross. Again at the Lord’s feet, she is being washed clean by His Precious Blood. There, frozen in time, Mary represents us. We too are being washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb.

Just as Jesus suffered and died for Mary, He suffered and died for each of us, individually. Our Blessed Lord loved us to the last drop of His Precious Blood. On Calvary, He who was without sin became sin, your sins and mine. In His passion and death, we too find divine forgiveness, as did Mary. Our Divine Savior loved us, "even to death on the Cross."

On Easter Morning, when our Lord said, "Mary," He was also saying, "Richard, William, Frank, Peter, James, John, Sandra, Deborah, Elizabeth, Ann, Mary Jane!" Think of it! Just as the Risen Lord saw Mary, He sees you! He loves you! He redeemed you! Never doubt that for a moment! Like Mary, may we never again offend Our Lord by sin. Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

May the joy of the Risen Christ be with you on Easter Sunday. May we all meet in heaven, gathered around the Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ takes away your sins and my sins! Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

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