The Gospel reminds me of how I experienced a longing for my own father just like Mary Magdalene’s longing for Jesus.
My Father and I did not have a good relationship for almost 6 years. He had suffered from a stroke several times. In 2017, he needed to undergo dialysis treatment. During those times, he was physically present but we were longing for his love. Due to his illness, he dropped his responsibility as the head of our family. I had many questions for God during that time, “Why was this happening to us?” “Was it not enough that we served him?” I was upset with my father, and my heart turned away from him. We went through difficulties and disappointments but God moved in mysterious ways. It is true that in the seeming absence of God, He is actually present.
Last December 2018, our family had an experience of conversion. My heart was full of joy that time and to me, the longed-for reconciliation and forgiveness were the best Christmas gifts I had ever received. I would say that because of this I felt and found inner peace. I realized it was wrong when I questioned God why it was happening to our family. Instead of asking Him, I could have chosen to be grateful rather than to be bitter, to be joyful rather than sulk in pain, and to love and forgive early on. We picked up the broken pieces like Mary Magdalene did. Her courage and faithfulness to Jesus gave her the privilege to be one of the early witnesses of the resurrection.
The Gospel reminds me that if I humble myself, I could remain faithful even in the most painful struggles and most complicated problems. Indeed, the Lord, in His own way and time, will reveal himself. I learned that I must leave and surrender my burdens unto Him because He can make broken things whole and beautiful again. He allows us to experience the pain because, at the end of the day, those experiences give meaning and purpose to our life.
By: Sem. Ryan Bernard C. Pablo
John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
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.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.
I loved reading your account of learning to love when your own need was neglected. I also have learned through painful times to not ask why but ask how. How do I go through this and still bring glory to God. Recently through my father’s final months I had to surrender and turn right around and surrender again. God’s Holy Spirit is a wonderful teacher.
I enjoyed reading this. There have been painful times in my life and I learned to stop asking Why and instead ask How! How do I go through this and still give glory to God.