I Saw The LordA long time ago, maybe even before Vatican II, one of my younger close relatives shared with me something very special. There was a certain way her husband-to-be used to say her name. Her own name was Mary. “No one else says it that way,” she mused. I have never forgotten this brief sharing. At Easter time, I am often reminded of it, especially when I am meditating on the story of Mary Magdalen in the garden. Mary went there early, while it was still dark. The darkness outside matched the darkness in her heart. She was consumed with loneliness and abandonment. Her world was empty. Memories were not enough.Being surprised to see that the stone had been rolled away, she ran to tell Simon Peter and the “other disciple, whom Jesus loved”. After the disciples had come and gone, Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. “Someone has taken my Lord,” she said. A bit later, a figure, whom Mary thought was the gardener, asked why she was weeping. Mary repeated her response. Then Jesus said, “Mary,” and Mary knew to whom she was speaking. She not only knew who he was. She knew who she was as well. She was someone very loved and never- to-be abandoned. In a moment, she would be given an enviable mission. The shadows of the past were forgotten. Only deep love remained.It is good to remind ourselves again that all these Holy Week and Easter stories are much more than just commemorations. These stories tell us that something new is happening right now, in this place - in the outer world and within.
Will the Risen One come to us? We hope so. Will we be able to recognize the “gardener”? We hope so. Will we be called by name? It could happen. Every Easter Tuesday, at Evening Praise, we sing a beautiful Magnificat Antiphon, composed by our Sister Mary Anne Schuman. The lyrics say it well: “While I was weeping at the tomb, I saw my Lord. Alleluia.”
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.