The WORD in Other Words by Fr Franz Gassner SVD (Macau)
Monday Octave of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22-33
What is holding us back from a living faith and building up the network of hope day by day? Too often we are caught up in blind obedience in shadowy networks of Paradise Lost and silent corruption. Listening too long to empty promises and lies (“we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble”), we too take the apple and cheaper products even when sensing exploitation of people in an offshore “paradise system”, wasting time and precious resources on futile perspectives.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary teach us to refocus on the “one thing necessary.” The Lady from the “City with the Great Tower” (Magdalah) is “known as the one who loved Christ and who was greatly loved by Christ” (Rabanus Maurus: dilectrix Christi et a Christo plurimum dilecta). Being part of Jesus‘ disciples, she accompanied him to the foot of the Cross. She dared to enter the dark realities of life (“tomb”), because her great love and thankfulness overrode smaller plans and futile perspectives.
Jesus let himself be known to her as her caring Lord and Master, thus transforming her tears into paschal joy and lasting happiness. Turning around the fate of Eve and Paradise Lost, Saint Mary Magdalene operates as “first messenger (“prima testis”) of the Resurrection and Saint Thomas calls her “the Apostle of the Apostles .
Mary Magdalene inspires us as model of hope, seeking the presence of the Lord in any situation, trusting and experiencing Him. And then to share and set out as missionary, “fearful yet overjoyed,” building daily the network of hope, inspiring others to experience the presence of the Lord, by going beyond comfort zones, venturing into streets, outskirts, margins, the lost, the leftovers, the poor, up till the countryside (“Galilee”). Only there, “they will see me.”