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, “Woman, why are you weeping?” 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. 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. ( John 20:11-18)
I relate to this Gospel because it reminds me of a time when I was at the same point as Mary Magdalene.
There was a time when, I too searched for God. I looked in a lot of places. I sought Him in the Word. I looked for him in the faces of people I met. I watched and listened for him in the churches I attended. I looked inwardly to try and see the spark that I could fan and find God. But I could not find Him.
But then it changed. I realized that He was in all of the places, people and things in which I looked. But what was missing was me. I was searching for God but he was already there. The difference was that I had not formed the personal relationship with Him. I was so busy looking that I did not see Him standing beside me. Beside me because He was searching for me as He does you.
We may not always succeed in finding what we have lost, but we will always find Jesus if we really search for him… because he is in fact searching for us. He is the good shepherd who calls his own by name. He knows our name, even before we begin to search for him. Our finding him is because he is searching for us. He came to seek and to save the lost, and we are all lost to some degree. The Lord seeks us out in his love. All we need to do is to put ourselves in the way of his searching love, as Mary Magdalene did. She has something to teach us about seeking the Lord in our pain and loss.
What I needed to do, and what we need to do in our lives, is let God be God. There are no limits on God, and we should not be trying to limit Him or reduce Him to anything or find him in a specific place. Because He is everywhere at all times at the same time. He is there as we delight in our family. He is there when we contemplate Him in prayer. He is there when we are joyous. He is there when we know sadness. He resides in the Word. He lives in others. But most of all, he lives in me and you. We need to find that Jesus in each of us. We need to allow Jesus to live through us. We need to step aside and let God be God. He died and rose so that he could live within us and be close to us at all times. But just as Mary had difficulty recognizing Jesus in the garden, we often fail to notice that the Lord is with us in concrete, real-life ways.
He is in charge, we will never fully understand Him. The reality is that God is a mystery, and will never be fully revealed to us while we are on earth. Our simple intellects cannot even begin to grasp all that is God. The sooner we realize that we are the ones who are limited, and Jesus is Lord, the better. Let Him in. He is waiting.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, may I cling to You as You cling to me. May my heart, mind and soul be Yours. Come live in me so that I may live in You. I give my life to You, dear Lord, help me to offer You all that I am. Jesus, I trust in You.”
Mary’s message to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, is the very essence of Christianity. It is not enough that a Christian know about the Lord, but that we know him personally. It is not enough to argue about him, but to meet him. In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord who loves us personally and shares his glory with us. The Lord gives us “eyes of faith” to see the truth of his resurrection and victory over sin and death (Ephes. 1:18). The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our hope — the hope that we will see God face to face and share in his everlasting glory and joy