>> Tuesday, July 22, 2008
First Reading: Songs 3:1-4
Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don`t know where they put him." But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, "Women, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don`t know where they laid him." When she 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. Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what he told her.
"They have taken my Lord away, and I don`t know where they have put him!" John 20:13
There are moments in our lives when we feel that we have lost our hold on God. I have read and heard countless stories about epileptics, who, before their seizure attacks, have this "10-second window" to brace themselves and keep themselves from hurting in any way. When the seizures come, they get this terrible feeling of losing themselves. When they recover from their seizures, they are overwhelmed with so much emotion. Perhaps because they get this feeling that in the moments when their seizures have taken hold on them, they have lost their hold on God. It must be a very terrifying experience for them!
But I admire these people for their strength. How they must have endured such an experience amazes me. Whether they know it or not, I believe that God provides them with the strength that they need to go on living their lives despite the reality of their condition.
May God, the source of our strength, continue to lift us up so that we may be able to serve Him in the many ways that He has called us to.