Article by Sr. Molly Fernandes sfn

Destroy this temple and in three days I will build it…Jn. 2: 19. Jesus wasn’t speaking about the temple built with stones rather about Himself, his own body.

Planet Earth has five elements. These elements are well depicted in the entrance of the Headquarters of our Congregation. One of the elements is water and in it we have a little tortoise whom I have named ‘Tottu’. Every time I pass by I call them by name. They recognise my voice and respond. Sometimes one of them even tries to climb up, he listens and looks up.

This brought to mind the episode of Mary of Magdala which we read in the synoptic gospels and gospel of St. John 20: 16, where Jesus says to her: “Mary”, and in reply she said in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni’ which means Teacher.

We notice Mary of Magdala bought spices, so that she could go and anoint his body but she found the stone rolled back. Soon she goes to inform the disciples about what she saw. Afterwards we find Mary sitting and crying, outside the tomb. “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? She thought it was the gardener who questioned her. But the same voice said to her again: “Mary”, she turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni’!.

So when she hears the word ‘Mary’ she recognised that it was Jesus and not the gardener. Amazing! The mystery in the art of articulation of the name being pronounced by the one who loves you and the one you love. It’s all in the calling of/by ‘Name’.

There are a few things that need to be noted: Mary of Magdala, first fails to recognise Jesus’ voice. Why does she fail to recognise? Was it not the voice of Jesus? Was she not familiar with his voice? What could have happened? Definitely, she was engrossed in her own thoughts. Her eyes filled with tears and her vision blurred! Was she not able to see properly? Everything seemed over, seeing the empty tomb? Did she feel miserable and empty within? Was she mentally sound at that moment! A very grim situation!!

This episode can be a sign of our lives too. How we too get intoxicated with our own imagination and lose sight. Try to see what we want to do. What lies in front of us we don’t want to notice nor do we want to hear or listen? We behave as though we are living in darkness. Yet, there are times, even when someone changes the voice while speaking we recognise it at once! Because we are at peace! And our eyes are all glowing!

So, being aware and attentive at all times is the need of the hour. Jesus speaks to us through different persons, events, etc. no matter how big and difficult the situation might be in which we are, He just rolls back the stone without our knowing. He clears the path and lovingly calls us by name!

There are a few things which Mary does. She goes to the shop to buy the spices and spends some money. She gets up early in the morning and goes to the tomb without being concerned about what others will say and without fear. There are efforts put in… Love overcomes all hurdles and it’s rewarded.

Hope does not disappoint us because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Rom 5:5). The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is law. Yet death has been swallowed up in victory by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (cf.1cor 15). If Christ had not to rise, the Word would cease to exist and Christ’ teaching would have no meaning, who said I am the resurrection and the Life, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, etc., the I AM statements!

Well, when everything seems going haywire, blocked with huge stones, hopes shattered, gripped with fear, let us keep our ears open and mind attentive to listen to the voice of Jesus calling us, as he rolls back the stones of uncertainties and turns our trials into triumphs and gives us peace!

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