My dear friends,
This year, the radiant sun of the resurrection is clouded by the worry and pain that many families are now facing. My most sincere Easter greetings and the hope desire to send to all of you from Magdala, is that Mary Magdalene bring you close to the Risen Lord, so that with her, you can also joyfully proclaim with conviction that, “I have seen the Lord.” (John 20:18)
To see the Lord. As believers, this is our life’s work. To see the Lord means seeing him in my brothers and sister, in nature, in pain…. Speaking of his crucifixion, Jesus told us that, “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32) To see the Lord is the result achieved by those who allow their minds and hearts to be purified, to be raised by God’s grace to know him, much like St. Thomas who was invited by Jesus himself to, “put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” (John 20:27). Easter Sunday did not cancel out the horrors of Good Friday, but rather, it filled them with meaning, gives them a new dimension and meaning. I pray that this Pascal Mystery of Christ fill your lives with light, more than ever before.
I would also like to take this moment to focus on another aspect of Mary Magdalene’s life that seems particularly pertinent at this time: volunteering. As the Evangelist Luke writes, “afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women.” (Luke 8:1-3) This is THE FIRST GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS OF THE GOSPEL!
May the example that the holy women who followed and served Jesus in thanksgiving for having been cured and freed from evil spirits, be an invitation to each one of us to change our lives from being self-centered to becoming a volunteer. When the meaning of life is enriched through volunteering – freely serving some cause, seeking to address another’s needs, or letting one’s self be deeply moved by the situation of others, instead of just being worried about our own personal issues – then one becomes a VOLUNTEER. This means serving freely, joyfully, and generously, without seeking any recompense.
As the world suffers so greatly because of the corona virus pandemic these days, I invite you to be attentive to what is being done directly around you. Ask yourself, “Who could most use my help and support right now?” These needs might be material, moral or spiritual. Perhaps it is something as simple as the need for a prayer or an encouraging word. Every one of us can certainly do something. All of us can become volunteers to help solve the problems that afflict the world, the Church and our families right now.
While respecting the social distancing guidelines and other security measures that have been communicated, let us strive to discover how rich our lives can become when we live them freely serving others, by volunteering. I know many of you already live this way, serving in a myriad of ways. Let us unite together in prayer to Christ Jesus and Mary Magdalene, so they can show us how to serve and offer support to others in these present circumstances.
From Magdala and together with Mary Magdalene, the Apostles to the Apostles, I send you all my prayers, support, and great esteem!
Fr. Juan Solana, LC