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