“Every man is a story of love that God writes on this earth. Every one of us is a story of God’s love. God calls every one of us by our name: He knows us by name, He looks at us, He waits for us, He forgives us, He has patience with us.”
Pope Francis emphasized this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, as he continued his catecheses on Christian hope, reflecting specifically this week on Mary Magdalene as an apostle of the hope brought by the Gospel.
On Easter morning, the Holy Father recalled, St. John tells us that Mary went to the tomb of Jesus, saw that it was empty, and returned to tell this news to Peter and the other disciples. Returning to the tomb, yet still not understanding what had happened, Mary encounters the Risen Lord, but does not recognize him until he calls her by name.
Given this, Francis highlighted, Jesus’ first appearance after rising from the dead is thus “something intensely personal.”
Calls Us By Name Too
“How lovely it is to think that the first apparition of the Risen One — according to the Gospels — happened in such a personal way! That there is Someone who knows us, who sees our suffering and disappointment, and Who is moved for us, and calls us by name,” he said.
It is a ‘law,’ the Pope noted, we find engraved in many pages of the Gospel.
Reminding that Gospel describes Mary’s happiness, Francis said: “Jesus’ Resurrection is not a joy given in dribs and drabs but a cascade that assails the whole of life. Christian existence is not woven of soft happiness, but of waves that overwhelm everything.”
Our God Is a Dreamer
“You also try to think at this moment, with the baggage of disappointments and defeats that each one bears in the heart, that there is a God close to us who calls us by name and says to us: “Rise, stop crying, because I have come to free you!”
“This is beautiful,” Francis said.
Jesus is not, Francis stressed, one “who adapts Himself to the world, tolerating that in it, death, sadness, hatred, the moral destruction of persons should endure.”
“Our God is not inert, but our God – I permit myself the word – is a dreamer: He dreams of the transformation of the world, and He realized it in the mystery of the Resurrection.”
Pope Francis prayed that Mary Magdalene’s intercession help us also to live this experience, that of “in the hour of weeping and in the hour of abandonment, to listen to the Risen Jesus who calls us by name and, with a heart full of joy, go to announce: ‘I have seen the Lord!”
“I have changed my life because I saw the Lord! Now I am different from before, I am another person. I have changed because I saw the Lord.”
Pope Francis concluded, reminding, “This is our strength and this is our hope.”
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text of General Audience: https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-mary-magdalen/