22 Jul 2015
Memorial of St Mary Magdalene
“Stop holding on to me,” he said. “Stop holding on to what you once knew.” And that’s a hard thing for most of us to do.
As a parish, as a Church, we have memories of how things used to be. We look at our families, we look at our jobs and careers, and we probably have good memories there. Maybe, like Mary Magdalene, you had a close friendship which is now only in the past. In spite of the hard times of life, we have lots of good memories of how things used to be. And, understandably, we want to hold on to them.
But the risk is that we might become like Mary Magdalene—worried more about the corpse of what our life used to be than about life in the present and future. It’s both a blessing and a burden to remember the good times of the past. We hold on to them and we cherish them because they are good memories. And yet, they can be like an anchor that keeps us from moving on in life.
And so, Jesus says, “Stop holding on. Stop letting your memories be a barrier to the new life I’m trying to give you today.” Fulfilling his promise to be our Good Shepherd, he says, in effect: “Trust me.” And we, like Mary Magdalene, turn to him in faith and say, “I do trust you, Lord.”
We thank the Lord for the good memories we’ve had in life. We thank the Lord for the challenges we’ve had in life. And we thank the Lord that there’s more life to come—today and forever.
But, in order for that “more” life to come, Jesus advises us: “Stop holding on. Stop holding on to what you once knew.” Today is a new day. Every day is a new day. And so, let’s look to see not only what God has done in the past, but also what God is doing today, and every new day.