Let us re-visit the words spoken by Mary of Magdala as mentioned in the Gospel Reading of Easter Sunday Mass, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don't know where they have put him."
The Maori word that best expresses Mary's statement is "Mi'i". When the human heart aches over the loss of someone extremely dear to us, our hearts cry out in "mi'i". This word gives voice to the deepest levels of human longing or fretting and the great need to be re-united with the one that was lost.
The reason behind my re-connecting with Mary's statement is because since Easter Sunday, so much has taken place not only within our personal lives, but also within the life of the Church/parish. Let's bring into focus a few things that have taken place or is about to take place within the parish since Easter Sunday.
- Preparation for the end of the Cyclone Season – Ecumenical Prayer Service
- Confirmation classes/camp
- Evaluation of Holy Week 2016
- Weekly prison visits
- WYD 2016 planning/meetings
- Arrival of newly ordained deacon Rev. Vincent Peters
- Renewal of Catechists commitment
- Monthly Youth Mass and talks
- Baptisms and burials
With so much going on, there is a danger of switching on to work mode that we can forget all too quickly what took place during Holy Week and ultimately Easter.
While it is extremely important that we carry on with all the different jobs within parish life as best we can, it must never ever take priority over spending time with the Lord in personal prayer which includes daily attendance of Holy Mass or as often as we can entering into the Sacrament of Reconciliation, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, spiritual reading or meditation and reflection on God's Word, etc.
Focusing too much on the work of the Church/parish cannot sustain a deep level of love for Jesus at the level of "Mi'i". Love at this level only comes about when we focus first on the Risen Lord.
Looking ahead to the last couple of weeks for the season of Easter, there is much work for all to do ….. teachers, catechists, laity, religious and priests.
Let us allow Mary of Magdala to remind us that her mi'i came out of an intimate relationship with a person named Jesus. To follow her example of putting Jesus first before all things is without a doubt the best way to follow Jesus.
Jesus I trust in You...Jesus I trust in You...Jesus I trust in You...