Daily Reflection
July 22nd, 2003
John Schlegel, S.J.
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Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene 
Optional Readings for the day
Song of Songs 3:1-4
Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
John 20:1-2, 11-18

Readings for the day
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
John 20:1-2, 11-18

On this Feast of Mary Magdalene everyone visiting this site worldwide has experienced the essence of today’s scripture passages: the quest for “the beloved.”

Just as the author of the first reading noted, “I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him out but did not find him …I must arise and go about the city; in the streets and squares I must seek him whom my soul loves.  I sought him but did not find him.”  We all experience this quest for the beloved, the Lord Jesus. We all strive to seek the Lord while he is near.  Some are more successful than others.

Some seek him out at dawn but do not find him until dusk; others begin their search in darkness until it yields to the light of day.  Is he to be found in the fury of a midwestern tornado or in the smallest breeze or song of a finch?  Some find the object of their quest, others do not.  But we all participate in the journey, this search for God, for meaning, for grace.  And this journey takes us through life with all of its contrariness, complexities, and challenges; as well as all of life’s harmony, beauty and joy.

We search for a glimpse, a manifestation of the creator God.  Knowing that “The world is charged with the grandeur God.  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil…”
*  It is for us to discover our creating God at work around us.

We look for the face of Jesus in the mix of people with whom we share our space knowing that “…Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his, To the Father through the features of men’s faces.”
*  It is for us to search and to discover Jesus in our midst.

We look to experience, to feel, a breath from the spirit of God, who “over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”
We search, too, for God’s spirit.  It is the spirit we received at baptism that dwells within us so we can be faithful and true followers of Jesus. 

“…I must seek him whom my soul loves.”

Today’s passage from John tells us Mary Magdalene is searching: “On the first day of the week she came early to the tomb” searching for her beloved.  Her faith and her hope are answered.  She finds her beloved, the risen Jesus.  And her response is very natural: She clings to him and never wants to be parted from him.  Jesus, however, has another request of the Magdalene; she is to announce to the disciples that, “She has seen the Lord” and she is to be the Lord’s witness to the world that God lives!

Just so, when we see the Lord, when we experience the presence of the creating God, when we see the face of Jesus in another’s, when we feel the powerful presence of the spirit of God in our prayer, we, too, should follow the Magdalene’s example: We must share our experience of God with others and we, too, must be witnesses in the world that God lives.

Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to me…but go to my brethren and say to them…” When your quest for God is successful, it is just beginning
*From the collected poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

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