Tuesday, April 7, 2015

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.”

The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect. - MARK TWAIN (1835 – 1910 American author and humorist)

Gospel Text: (JN 20:11-18)
Mary Magdalene 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 went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.

Place a straw in a clear glass of water. Doesn’t it look a bit distorted in its new place? Or try looking out your window during a rainstorm. Doesn’t the water on the windowpane blur your view? This is called refraction, the same process by which eyeglasses can help correct a person’s vision.

Sometimes our spiritual vision gets distorted too, and we need help to correct it. This is one way of looking at what happened to Mary Magdalene in today’s Gospel reading. She was so distraught at Jesus’ empty tomb that all she could see was a conspiracy to remove his dead body. Her vision was so skewed that even when Jesus stood before her, all she could see was a gardener. But then, as Pope Francis put it, “rather than feel like she had failed again, she simply cries. Sometimes in our lives tears are the lenses we need to see Jesus.”

So keep your eyes open. Be like Mary Magdalene , and look again. And again. And again.

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