Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mar. 29, 2016 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Week 9

Mar. 29, 2016 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Week 9

How many of us here use reading glasses? For those of us who have trouble seeing things both near and far, it’s a hassle to carry around two sets of glasses. Yet we can’t live without them. They bring into focus what seems blurry. As an analogy, tears that we experience throughout life bring into focus--like glasses--what is truly important and real.

Mary Magdalene experienced something similar. In today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene is weeping at the tomb because the body of her Lord is not there anymore. This is not the first time that she is shedding tears for Jesus. In another Gospel passage, Mary Magdalene is the tearful “sinful woman” who anoints the feet of Jesus and dries them with her hair. She is the one whom Jesus defends against detractors who accuse her of being a great sinner. Jesus says of her that she loves much because she was forgiven much. At the tomb, she grieves with her tears for Jesus; in this dark moment of her soul, her tears of contrition, repentance, and gratitude allow her to recognize the Risen Jesus. She proclaims to the apostles, "I have seen the Lord."

Pope Francis said, "All of us, in our lives, have felt joy, sadness, pain. In our darkest moments, have we wept? Have we had the gift of tears that prepare our eyes to look, to see the Lord? In the face of the Magdalene who is weeping we too can ask the Lord for the grace of tears. It is a beautiful grace… to weep for everything: for the good, for our sins, for graces, even for joy. Weeping prepares us to see Jesus.” And the Lord gives all of us the grace to be able to say with our lives: “I have seen the Lord,” not because he has appeared to me, but because “I have seen him inside my heart.” And this is the witness of our lives: “I live like this because I have seen the Lord.”

Our Risen Lord makes us sharers of his immortal life and enables us to see, with his eyes of love and compassion, our neighbors who suffer in body and spirit. It is easy to miss recognizing the Lord when our focus is on ourselves. Our Lord encourages us to focus instead on others, just as he told Mary Magdalene to go tell the disciples what she had seen. Our own experience of tears helps us recognize Jesus in those who weep and suffer. We are called to be witnesses, like Mary Magdalene, to proclaim to others, “I live with joy amid difficulties because I have seen the Lord.”