Friday, July 22, 2011

The question isn't were you challenged. The question is were you changed?

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. - C.S. Lewis

Gospel text (Jn 20,1-2.11-18): On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene 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.”

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 Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.

In the Gospel, we have the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb. Today we honor her service to Jesus and His disciples. Yet I am impressed once again, by Jesus, who calls Mary by name. It is not until He actually calls her by name that she recognizes Him. How does she respond? She calls him “Rabbouni,” meaning teacher.

I think about the people with whom I work. I know their names, mostly. I definitely know the names of my superiors, the people who have authority over me. I know the names of the people I audit. The others? The guy who always nods and says hello to me when we pass in the hall? Well, I know his face when I see it. The lady who sets out the food in the cafeteria at work? Again, I know her face, not her name. Is there a pattern?

Let’s think about the people who serve us during the day, who make us look good or feel good in one way or another. Do we know their names? As they board the bus to go home, could we look each of them in the eye, shake each hand, and thank each of them by name? Mary Magdalene may have been overlooked by the disciples. Perhaps many did not even know her name.

But Jesus did.

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