The Psalms of Soul cry out from my own soul:
I was wounded by love.
My soul is melted with love.
My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?
The following story is taken from the Gospel of today from St. John, but only Jesus and Mary Magdalene were present. Only Mary could pass on this story and the words of Jesus.
She thought he was the gardener…
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 to your Father, to my God and to your God.'”
Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
The Gospel is not the printed words, but the story shared by people wounded by love. Mary was devastated by the death of her Beloved Jesus. Her soul had been melted with love. She came face to face with Jesus who had been crucified. She was ecstatic. Are we ecstatic with the knowledge and faith of the Alleluia experience?
Mary is the only person who could share this story except Jesus. They were the only two present. How do we respond to other people when they share with us they have seen the Lord? Rarely do we believe them if we are honest.
My father is dying. We are all dying. He is 85 years old. He could still feasibly live to be 100! So often I find myself getting caught up in the whirl of the dying process with all the doctors, hospital emergencies, emotional fusion of my family, and simply my fear of death I rarely admit.
In some ways, my Dad has already died in areas of his life. He can no longer bowl, his mind isn’t as sharp, no more gardening, he can’t go to Jaguar games with me anymore, etc. This past Sunday evening, my Dad was rushed to the hospital with a really bad nose bleed. With his medical heart concerns, this is serious. I had the opportunity of staying with him for 24 hours. Most of the time I was alone with him. It was both horrible and horribly wonderful. I believe most of you get the gist if you have ever taken this journey with someone you love.
During that long night my Dad was wrestling with angels and demons. I guess I was also wrestling with them. When morning finally arrived, my Dad looked at me with such clarity and said to me, “That was one long night Ron, wasn’t it?” I nodded my head to him. That was the most we could talk about it.
What I saw during that dark night with my eyes of the soul was similar to what Mary Magdalene was trying to explain to the disciples who did not at first believe her. They probably called her hysterical. Those who have died before me paraded through that hospital room. I didn’t understand very much, but I observed and was transformed. My grandparents, mother, brother and others who had died were present, but I could only sense their shadows.
And then… Jesus called to me. “Ron Moses!”
Mary had to let go of her anxieties. Mary speaks the Gospel when she shares with us what she experienced, what she heard, what she saw. “I have seen the Lord!” She believes. She sees Jesus.
She tells us that Jesus told her that he was going to “My Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
This is mind boggling. We live in heaven already because heaven is LOVE.
There is nothing to fear.
God is Alive!
We are Alive with Jesus forever.