Wednesday, July 22, 2009

don't cry

"don't you cry tonight
I still love you" (GNR - Don't Cry, 1991)
St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us. today we celebrate the memorial of one of the great disciples of the Lord. she was known by many as a great sinner. however, though her sins were many, she is forgiven because she loved much!(Lk 7:47) indeed, Our Lord humbled many through Mary's humility, including many who were at table with Him that evening.(Lk 7-36-50) many seminarians have a special place in their hearts for this Saint.

the girl at the mirror, by Norman Rockwell, seems to tell us a bit about St. Mary. he always knew how to portray humanity. mirrors often lie to us. they'll tell us what we want them to say. it was only when St. Mary looked into Our Lord did she recognize who she really was. she recognized Him who recognized her. she knew herself as a sinner, yes, ... but a forgiven sinner! indeed, this passage from Luke is about God's love for sinners! however, the following is more from GNR:
"talk to Me softly
there is something in your eyes
don't hang your head in sorrow
and please don't cry
I know how you feel inside I've
I've been there before
somethin' is changin' inside you
and don't you know
don't you cry tonight
I still love you"
i can relate. i may have fallen, and continue to, but in Christ i have been forgiven. we are forgiven sinners! in the mirror i see what i want. i have rules about how i should be as a man. how i should live as a Christian. how i should live as a priest. if i only look in the mirror, i will surely fall. it's only when i look to Christ do i understand my vocation, and direction in life. indeed, it's only when i look to the other, rather than myself, do i begin to feel that peace which comes by living in Christ. however, i can't forget that i'm on a journey, ... a journey of becoming more human, more Christian, indeed, more Christ-like. if i've failed you, failed to be present to you, i ask for pardon.

today, the Church couples St. Mary's encounter with the Risen Lord (Jn 20:1,11-18) with a powerful reading from Song of Songs (Song 3:1-4). St. Mary Magdalene was tired of living a lie. the love she had for the Lord moved her, compelled her to continue to search for Him. though she wept, she was overjoyed by the encounter. she no longer needed to live by false ideals. she now lived by the will of the Father. at peace with herself, she exclaimed, "i have seen the Lord".(Jn 20:18) let us pray to her, asking her to see as she did.

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