Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When He Calls My Name

"She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
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.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher."
**Excerpted from Daily Mass Reading for April 6, 2010

I was caught by a particular detail in this reading. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus after he had risen. She was obviously distraught; the loss of Jesus was undoubtedly terrifying for her. After all, it was she who had been caught in adultery and saved from public stoning by Jesus. It was she who had anointed his feet with expensive perfume and wiped them with her hair. It was she of whom he said "she loves much, for she has been forgiven much." She was walking in the redemptive power of Jesus' love, and accompanied him, with his own mother, to Calvary. And now this! His body had been stolen away, robbing her of the chance to again anoint him with the oils and spices that would commit his body to the earth for the last time! In this grief and confusion, comes the question: "Woman, why do you weep?" In desperation, she asks for the body of her Lord, not realizing who it was who had asked. And then he spoke her name. Jesus said, "Mary," and with that one word, her confusion and grief fell away. When Jesus spoke her name, Mary knew him. There was no doubt; there was no questioning. There was only recognition of her Lord.

So often, I am swept away in the confusion of my life. Chaos, to some degree or another, is the norm. I am uncertain what to do or where to go. It seems that I am pulled in so many directions at once, and I can't hear my own thoughts above the clamoring of children and chores. What made Mary different? She was truly listening. She was ready -- longing -- to see Jesus. And when he called her name, her heart was ready to hear. He calls me by name, too! (John 10:3) Make my heart ready, Lord! Give me ears to hear your voice! Wash away my unbelief!

When he calls my name, I want to hear him.
When he calls my name, I want to turn and see him.
When he calls my name, I want to recognize my Lord and my God
For there is peace, strength, and redemption -- when he calls my name.

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