In today’s account of the Gospel, we see that Mary Magdalene failed to recognize the Lord. Why did she fail to see that the man talking to her was already the Lord?

I see at least two reasons why she missed the presence of the Risen Christ initially. First, because of her tears. She was weeping, and therefore she could not see very well because all her energy, all her attention was focused on her weeping. Her eyes had blurred from the tears, had swollen and so when the Lord came, she could no longer open them wide.

Isn’t that the same with us, my dear friends? The Lord is already risen. You have gone to confession before Holy Week and yet you still ask, “Have I really been forgiven? Is it that simple -I will merely go up to the priest and tell him my sins, and it’s all over? Is it really that easy?”

Now I want to tell you: it is really that easy. This is because everyone who asks forgiveness is forgiven.

If we carry lingering doubts it may be because we still do not enjoy the Easter peace. We are not enjoying the Easter joy because we still feel the heaviness of the sins we have committed, the same sins that have already been forgiven.

I want to tell you my dear friends: what God has forgiven, God has also forgotten. Let us not live in the past. Let us not miss the presence of the Lord because of our excessive sorrow, because of our excessive sadness. Mary missed the Lord because of those tears.

The second reason why Mary missed the presence of the Risen Lord was that she was looking in the wrong direction. She was talking to the Lord but she was looking at the tomb. That is why she missed the Lord.

Well, again, in a sense, that is the same with us. We miss the presence of the Lord because we choose to look at the tombs of our past rather than look at the Lord in the events of the moment. We may be focusing our attention on the trauma of the past, of what we did in the past. Our gaze may be fixed on our failures, our abuses, our sins of the past. We need to be roused from our fixation on the tomb. The Lord is buried there but the Lord is already risen. We are still looking at the past. We are still looking at the tomb. And if we continue to do so, chances are, when the Lord comes, just like Mary, we will not be able to see Him.

The Lord is not in the past. The Lord is in your present. The Lord is beside you, in front of you, behind you, on top of you, under you, inside you. The Lord is there and we must look where the Lord is. And then enjoy His presence.

Talk to Mary during the moments of silence I offer you, and tell her, “Mary, you missed the presence of the Lord because you wept too much. You missed the presence of the Lord because you were looking in the wrong direction. I will not be like you. I want to enjoy the Lord’s presence. I will stop crying. I will be happy again. I want to enjoy the presence of the Lord. I will not look at the tombs of the past. I will look at the Lord here now.”

Jn. 20:11-17
Only Jesus, Always Jesus

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