My grandmother, whom I affectionately called ‘Meme’ was filled with love. I grew especially close to her since, for the last twenty years of her life, she suffered from near-blindness. I helped her with her mail, her bookkeeping, and when I was old enough to drive, I took her shopping and to Mass. Our conversations were unforgettable, and she taught me so much in those formative years.
When I was a newly professed Carmelite Sister, I received word that she was dying. My whole body trembled when I said goodbye to her on the phone. Her last words to me were “I love you and I’ll be SEEING you soon!” Those words of faith, hope and love gave me just what I needed: something and someone to hold on to. As I walked the retreat house grounds alone and began to pray the rosary, the words ‘life everlasting’ of the Creed suddenly broke in to my consciousness with a force that took my breath away. These were Resurrection moments for me, when the Lord allowed me to gaze at the magnitude of the gift of eternal life.
It’s like this in the Gospels too. The Lord gives to each one exactly what is needed according to the uniqueness of the person. To Mary Magdalene, who witnessed the horror of the crucifixion and was overwhelmed with anguish, the Lord was there, whispering her name “Mary!” in that same familiar comforting tone that she thought was forever gone. To Thomas, confused, separated from the group, lashing out in the defensive unbelief of dashed dreams, Our Lord presented, ever so gently his torn yet radiant Flesh: “Believe”. To the women, overwhelmed with grief, He had only one necessary word for them that changed everything: “Rejoice!” To the apostles in the Upper Room, fearful, guilty, doubting and disturbed, He came with the gift that epitomizes the blessings of the New Covenant: “Shalom.” “My Peace I give you.”
Jesus comes to each one of us this Easter season with exactly the word that we need…something and Someone that we can hold onto. Spend some time with the Word that He wishes to speak to your heart and let it sink in to experience your own Resurrection Moments.
Art: Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Charles de La Fosse, between 1680 and 1685, PD-US life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.
Previously published by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Used with permission.
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