I love Mary Magdalene. I guess I have a strong devotion to her. I can so relate to her need to be with Jesus to the end. Her need to go see his tomb and her absolute fear and grief at finding it empty. And then her joy at hearing her name called. Mary. And she answers, Rabboni. It is one of my favorite Gospel stories and I cannot get enough of it. Something about Mary Magdalene and her spirit and devotion that just calls out to me. And warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. Fr. James Martin, SJ, posted a reflection on Mary Magdalene on Facebook, using this gospel reading (John 20:11-18) and ended it saying that between the time she saw Jesus and told the disciples the good news, Mary Magdalene was the church. How beautiful. And very moving to me. Unfortunately, there were people who decided to take this opportunity to make the statement that women should be priests. And going on and on about it. I get so tired of that happening all the time. This was a case of a priest writing a beautiful reflection for us to meditate on and pray about. It was not the time to push our favorite cause or whatever. I refused to let it ruin my reflection, but still, maybe it did. I was annoyed. Can we just pray and reflect on the Lord, without church politics getting in the way? Without people pushing their favorite “cause”? Can’t we just praise and honor and thank our Lord? I love you, Jesus. Please forgive my whining.
Imagine a place you’ve never seen before, a place you might not have
believed was real. A place covered in a mist so thick that you cannot
see your hands or your feet, yet, it’s solid and real. Imagine a place
of great suffering, filled with the cries of longing, moaning, and
groaning, but a place of incredible joy! Imagine a place where, before
you entered, you had seen the Face of God, and now, your longing for
God causes such great pain, you fear your heart will break. Imagine a
place where the pain is so great, you know that if the skin was burned
off your body, leaving only raw nerves exposed to the air, you would
feel less pain. Imagine a place where a fire burns so coldly that the
pain caused to your body by a hot flame would be a welcome respite.
time for merit is over when we die. We know that God is a God of great
Mercy. What we often forget is that God is a God of Justice, too.
Justice must be met by each of us in our judgment. One of the gifts of
God’s Mercy, in the expiation of our sins, is Purgatory. Purgatory is a
place of final cleansing for our souls, so that one day, when we have
paid our debt to our merciful and loving God, we will meet Him face to
face, never again fearing Hell, but knowing that we are safe and in
Paradise. satan is no longer a threat to our immortal souls. We