By Joelle Maryn
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.’”
~ John 20:16-17
LOST IN THE LOSS
We all have experienced the feeling of loss including that of a loved one, a relationship, or a dream. Grief is part of all of our lives and the process can be very painful. The love in our hearts for what we lost is human and natural, even Jesus wept. But God doesn’t want us to get lost in the loss. If we don’t invite Him into our wounds we won’t be able to allow Him to heal them.
GOD KNOWS OUR NAME
In today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene is at the tomb and in her grief, she is blind and deaf that Jesus is with her and speaking to her. She didn’t recognize Him until He said her name. When we take time to listen to the Lord and hear Him say our name the grief in our hearts gets transformed and hope begins to enter. We realize we aren’t alone and God cares about our lives. He wants a deep and intimate relationship with us and has a plan for the future. Jesus is our teacher and He told Mary it was better for her to let go and give her grief to Him so that He could ascend. Then He asked her to go and share the good news with others. We are all called to evangelize, but often we focus so much on what we lost that we can’t see what we still have and the goodness to come. It’s a process and takes time but we know with God all things are possible.
When I was 6 years old, I lost my sister Maria in a tragic house fire. I remember my aunt taking my cousins and me to a park. She brought balloons and we wrote notes to my sister and attached them. She told us to release our pain to God as we released the balloons to Heaven. Watching them float away and ascend I felt some of the burden lift and saw the beautiful colors dancing in the air. It looked like a party in the sky and hope and purpose began to live in my heart again. I was reminded that life here is short and our eternal calling is heaven.
OUR MISSION IS TO LOVE
While we are here our mission is to love and love is what leads to true life. We need to be rooted in our identity and trust that God knows our names and our hearts. We are His beloved and need to receive His love in order to have it to give. Letting go of hurts, loss, and broken dreams is not easy but when we choose to let go, every area that feels empty can be filled with the presence of God. We can have peace, joy, and mission even in dark times. God doesn’t want us looking for Him and not finding Him but rather realize that He is always with us. He wants to heal us and use us to evangelize and share the good news of the resurrection. That we don’t die but pass to life. Everything we let go of can become a source of strength in Him and can be used to help encourage others.
GIVING OUR YES
How can we focus on the resurrection? Are we willing to get out of the tomb and allow God to empower us with His Holy Spirit? By taking time for prayer and hearing Him say our name we will come to realize that He knows us so intimately and desires to teach us His truth. We need to give Him our yes. Today let our prayer be “Yes, Rabbouni (Yes, teacher), I trust in you!” We know wherever He sends us, He will give us the grace and strength to go.
FAITH INTO ACTION
As disciples, who can we reach out to today by name and be His voice? Who can we help lift up in their grief and help them release it to heaven? Jesus is calling our names today to be His hands, feet, heart, and face to others. Will they be able to recognize Him?
May our prayers and actions today and always be beautiful love letters to Heaven. Amen.
About the author:
Joelle Maryn is a Catholic Speaker and Evangelist. Joelle was a model and founder/CEO of a luxury line of anti-aging makeup. In 2012, she had major reversion back to the faith and now spreads a message of God’s healing love that has radiated hope and purpose in life to many around the world.