Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

John 20:11-18 Weeping In Sorrow

John 20:11-18 Weeping in Sorrow

(Click here for readings)

Mary Magdalene could not believe her eyes. What she was seeing did not correspond to her broken heart. She could not allow herself to believe the unbelieveable. That is, to one day find genuine comfort. So, she refused to allow herself to be happy again, even at the sight of the greatest miracle ever. In an all too familiar way she felt a certain comfort in being left alone, even as she wept uncontrollably.

Those who have experienced loss know exactly what Mary is going through. All the miracles in the world; all the unimaginable success stories she would inspire would never be enough to move her away from sorrow and pain - not even angels sent from Heaven. It is a lesson for all of us to learn. The only one who is capable of healing the broken heart is Jesus Christ. Only he can wipe away our tears for good.

"Whom are you looking for?" Is this not the most important question ever asked? The answer will not only reveal who I am looking for but also who I am! It will reveal all that I desire, all that I wish for, all that drives me and all that chases after me. It will also reveal all that limits me, for nothing on earth will ever be worthy of all my love - nothing!

Mary seeks a body without a soul. She seeks that which does not exist. She has limited her search in life to a dead man, and that will never bring her comfort in life.

"I sought him, whom my heart loves - I sought him but I did not find him. The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves? I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves. I took hold of him and would not let him go." (Song of Songs 3:1, 3-4a)

May we never limit our hopes and joys in an empty tomb but in the risen Lord. May the Risen Lord open our hearts to his daily miracles so that our weeping will be of joy and never again of sorrow.


  1. This is the first time I've read this blog in a month. And I hesitated today, but decided I'd chance it and it was a perfect day.

    On Holy Thursday I went to confession and expressed a deep grief I've been fighting for months about the loss of the personal presence of Jesus that I experienced over several months. It has been real grief that made me want to die just to feel it again. Nothing morbid, just "take me Jesus, I'm tired of the pain down here, all I want is to be with You." I spent months talking to priests, friends, spiritual leaders and God trying to get an answer as to how to get over it. I got, “it’s spiritual candy, you should be happy you experienced it, you need to grow up in your faith and not rely and feelings, Jesus wants to take you off breast milk???” And, “It will get less painful, but it will always be there until you come home.” Nothing comforting.

    Father suggested I read about the grief of Mary Magdalene and have a conversation with her as well as Jesus. When I went to the all night vigil just before the end early Friday morning. I was thinking about how they would remove Jesus that day and He would be gone, absent until Easter. I have not gone a day without being with him in the flesh since last April. So I was actually grieving thinking about it. I know it was silly; it's only a day, really. The Easter vigil was Saturday night. But in that meditation, the grief was replaced with the anticipation of His resurrection on Easter and I felt excitement at the thought. Then the answer I’ve been seeking all this time came from Him. “Replace the grief with anticipation. Anticipation stirs up excitement in the heart and gives us hope, something to look forward to.” That was it! At that moment the excitement for Easter and His personal return became real and wiped away all the grief that I’d been stuck in for so long.

    It also gave me new hope in dealing with my ‘prodigal’ daughter, who I have been grieving about her poor choices for years now. I know she’ll return, I just don’t know when. That gave me peace for a while, but the grief would sneak back in, in times of doubt, when my faith would start to wane. Maybe when I start to listen to the evil one, who’s always standing by ready to pounce when he sees any sign of weakness from me.

    Any way, I’ve been able to turn the tears of fear and dashed hope for her immediate return into anticipation for when she does return. I already told her sister there would be a big party when she returns. We will kill the “fattened calf” and for her, the faithful one, not to be jealous when it happens and it will happen. Now my sorrow and grief have been replaced by anticipation and a joyful expectation! A miracle after years and gallons of tears!

    I know there are many prodigal sons and daughters out there. I hope others can turn their grief into anticipation.

  2. "She could not allow herself to believe the unbelievable...she refused to allow herself to be happy again, even at the sight of the greatest miracle ever."

    These words struck a cord deep within my soul, in a way that I'm sure many of us have experienced. I was thinking it is somewhat similar to what the wife of Pilot tells him, in the film “The Passion”; after he has encountered Christ, He asks her how one recognizes truth, and she replies, "If you will not hear the truth, then no one can tell you."

    It seems there is an element of truth we must understand through our reason, and it also seems it must somehow be experienced, and finally a conscious choice made to believe...

    But, at the risk of sounding like Pilot, HOW does this all work? I know this question is greater then the extent of a blog comment to answer, but thoughts would be welcome. I think it says somewhere in the Bible(?), "Faith is not something to be grasped." Maybe that is what I'm missing...?

    God Bless you Fr. Alfonse! Hope you have a blessed week! :)

  3. Jessica,

    I've wondered that myself when the truth is so obvious, like an unborn baby in the womb is a human person, or the truth of actually seeing something live and in person and still not believing.

    There are tons of examples of the truth being obvious and people choosing not to believe or just not being open to belief. Even when it is blatantly experienced personally, some will still refuse to believe the truth.

    Sin blinds us; it is like a veil in front of our eyes between the truth and us. We cannot see it because of our sin, no matter how obvious it is to others, no matter how reasonable or logical, no matter how hard someone can try to express what is clearly visible to everyone else.

    That is why I have learned to move on when trying to get some clear truth across to someone who cannot see it. We cannot make someone see something they are not capable of seeing because of their sin.

    I have been there. There are plenty of things I did not accept about the Church teaching in my earlier days. It wasn't out of the truth not being visible, available or obvious, it was not just out of ignorance, it wasn't just because I wanted to take the easy road. It was the sin I was living in, that I chose to stay in, that made it impossible or at least very difficult for me to see the truth.

    I didn't go to confession for 20 years. I don't think people realize that aspect of confession, that it pulls that veil down so we can see truth and accept it, as well as all the other graces and benefits we receive.

    That just popped into my head so I might be completely wrong.


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