“They”

13  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” [1]

A dialogue. The two angels and Mary Magdalene.  The first wonder why Mary is weeping.  Note the generic “Woman,” a’la Genesis and Cana and the bestowal of new motherhood by Jesus on the Cross.  Not a warm, fuzzy personal name, but a type, an archetype, for all who search for, who come to the tomb to find the Risen Jesus.

You won’t find the Risen Jesus in the tomb.  You will encounter Him, you will witness that He is in Heaven, you will know and experience that He is with you all days, even to the end of the age. [Mt 28:20]  But you will not find Him in the tomb.

Death, and all your sorrows, all your fears, all your failures, all your seeming inexorable disasters…are gone, swallowed up in God’s providence, God’s will, God’s goodness, God’s planning your greatest happiness…and all that bad stuff will just make you joy all the sweeter, more poignant, more lasting, truer.

Perhaps that’s why the angels are puzzled…Mary is faced with the evidence of the greatest event, the greatest blessing humankind could ever envision, that death is not the end, that Resurrection is real, that Jesus actually lives, that there has been a paradigmatic shift in our perspective on life…from terminal to eternal, that we have a God who truly loves us, who truly understands our greatest fear and our greatest need, that shows us mercy beyond all boundaries, that cherishes us, sin and all…and all she can do is weep? Like good psychologists, they ask questions to help her verbalize her sorrow, her feelings, her trauma.

They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”  Ok, we have an unidentified antagonist, “they,” a boogie man, an unreal person, an imagined enemy.

Isn’t that what Jesus is always trying to tell us:  “There is no “they,” there is only Me…I am who am…there is no other.  Believe in Me and let all the “theys” of the world, of your imagination, of reality go…let them be seen through My eyes.  I have put them there for your benefit, for your journey, to help you attain your greatest happiness.  “They” may threaten, they may scourge, they may taunt, they may do all the things that happened to me…just be assured that My will for you is to be with me, that’s your goal.  Keep your eye on it and you will not go wrong.  Have faith in Me; I am saving you right now and I will save you if you have faith to the end.”

He continues:   “They have not taken me and You know where I am.  I am with you, right here, right now, forever.  No one, no person, no thing, no event, nothing can stop my love for you… that’s what Paul saw:

What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Rom 8:35, 37-39].

Thank You, Jesus, for loving me so much, for showing me the fallacy of my fears, for being with me always, for never leaving me alone.  Help me to love you back as I should, and to always, always know that whatever you want me to do, it is for my benefit.  It is your gift, my happiness which you want me to have, and that You are as anxious to have me be with You always as I am to have the faith to do so. Amen. Alleluia!!!

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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