Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paschal Chat: It's still Easter.



I can do this Paschal Chat bit all week because Easter is just one day, all week long.

Today's Gospel speaks of the Magdalen's solitary encounter, first with the angels, and then, the risen Christ.  She was at the tomb simply looking for the body of the Lord and thus the angels didn't really impress her; their presence and message couldn't satisfy her.  Likewise she did not recognize the Lord - until he called her by name.  I like the Magdalen's attitude - nothing could satisfy or console her until Jesus recognized her first - only then did she recognize the Lord.  I like that.

The intro in Magnificat for today's readings suggests the Magdalen needed to be converted from her pessimism which blinded her spiritual insight, keeping her from recognizing the Lord.  That is one way to look at it I guess.  There are times we are all prone to pessimism in our spiritual lives and relationship to the Body of Christ.  At such times we may tend to cling to our "preconceptions" with a "stubbornness" of heart.   I think we do that because we need to feel safe and secure in our faith, lest we get lost or somehow take the wrong path.  When we are found by Christ, meaning when we are given the grace to recognize him on a deeper level - we naturally want to cling to him in that particular perception or experience.  But Christ tells us, "Do not cling to me."

Some day we may not be able to get to Mass, or visit a church to be with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.  Someday we may not be able to be with friends and fellow Catholics - we may find ourselves alone, isolated.  Someday all of what we cling to could be taken away from us.  I'm not necessarily thinking about something apocalyptic, such as suppression of the Church through persecution, disaster or war.  That could happen of course, but we may be more likely to find ourselves unable "find the body of the Lord" for more ordinary or natural reasons.  Think of those people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions - even prison; or those with dementia, or in a coma, or someone home-bound for whatever reason.  Many of these people have no access to the sacraments or friends.  It could happen to us.

Just a thought.

4 comments:

  1. Well, other than Sundays or when I go to Mass during the week I really have no contact with Catholics perse. So I can really understand that isolation. I suppose part of it is that I live in a small town right now. I really don't want people here to "know my business". It's sad in a way because I really don't have any friends who share my faith here with whom I can open my heart. I wouldn't be comfortable with that here. I think it's the fear of being misunderstood or "judged". I don't know. I know they think I'm an "odd ball" which I really don't care whether they do or not. The truth is that I am an "odd ball" and have always been one. I come for adoration. I lead the rosary before Mass but I dont lector (though i would serve if asked). My mother who is an extrovert refers to me as a "lone wolf".

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  2. We are kind of alike then.

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  3. Maybe I should be more involved. I mean I used to teach catechism years ago. I was a lector. I have issues with the abuse of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist so I don't have the desire to do that. I was a lector years ago. I've just always tried to avoid even giving the very least idea of any scandal in people's minds...of giving people any reason to wag their tongues. I just do my bounden duty and go home.
    The other part of me is very offended by the liturgical abuse there. The music is abysmal with "Gather us In" being an all time hit. I don't know call me a snob but once you've become accustomed to Gregorian chant or polyphony with reverence, recollection and holy silence thrown in.....well everything else just seems to pale in comparison.

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  4. "I like the Magdalen's attitude - nothing could satisfy or console her until Jesus recognized her first - only then did she recognize the Lord. I like that."

    I do too; I think that's how it should be.

    Encountering God in an authentic way is, I think, relatively rare. By giving in to that which does not satisfy, even and perhaps especially when it comes to 'finding God', tends to cheapen the search and can be a distraction from the time when God does reveal Himself to us. Those times are precious and there is nothing that can compare or measure up.

    To have the heart lift even slightly by being 'touched' by Him is worth foregoing whatever else may promise to be consoling or otherwise 'of God', I think.

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