Today’s gospel is St Mary Magdalen’s search and encounter with the risen Jesus at the empty tomb (Jn 20:11-18, below). This is the In Conversation with God commentary entitled: “Seeking and loving Christ. Mary Magdalene’s example teaches us that whoever seeks Our Lord sincerely will always end up finding him.”
Christ lives and in various ways is present among us, and even within us. We should therefore set out to meet him, as it were, and try to be more aware of his ineffable presence. Thus being more conscious of his presence we will speak with him more and his love will grow in us. We must seek Christ in the word and in the Bread, in the Eucharist and in prayer. And we must treat him as a friend, as the real living person he is – for he is risen. Christ, we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, ‘holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever … consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God, since he always lives to make intercession for them’ (Heb 7.24-24).
Christ, the risen Lord, is our companion and friend. He is a companion whom we can see only in the shadows – but the fact that he is really there fills our whole life and makes us yearn to be with him forever. If we contemplate the risen Christ, if we try to look at him with an unclouded vision, we shall understand in a profound way that it is possible now also to follow him closely, to live our lives close beside him in such a way that they expand and acquire a new meaning.
After doing this for some time a personal relationship will gradually become established between Jesus and ourselves – a loving faith – that can be today, after the passing of twenty centuries, just as authentic and strong as the faith of those who contemplated him risen and glorious and still bearing the signs of his Passion in his Body. We will notice that, with ever-greater naturalness, we will find ourselves referring to our Lord everything that forms part of our existence and see that we wouldn’t be able to live without him. Finding Our Lord will mean for us at times a patient and laborious search, beginning and beginning again every day, perhaps even having a distinct impression that we are only at the very beginning of our interior life. Nevertheless, if we struggle, we will always grow closer to Jesus. But it is important that we should never allow discouragement to enter our souls through possible setbacks, which will often be only apparent anyway.
The example of Mary Magdalene, who persevered in fidelity to our Lord in moments of difficulty, teaches us that whoever sincerely and constantly seeks Jesus will end up finding him. And in the particular circumstances of our lives we will find him much more easily if we start out on our search led by the hand of Our Lady, our Mother. To her we say in the ‘Hail Holy Queen’: Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.