Yet the star of hope has risen

Kroug icon“Christ descended into ‘Hell’ and is therefore close to those cast into it, transforming their darkness into light.  Suffering and torment is still terrible and well-nigh unbearable.  Yet the star of hope has risen–the anchor of the heart reaches the very throne of God.  Instead of evil becoming unleashed within man, the light shines victorious: suffering–without ceasing to be suffering–becomes, despite everything, a hymn of praise.”  (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi)

 

Yet the star of hope has risen

2009-10-03-the-morning-star-paradox“Christ descended into ‘Hell’ and is therefore close to those cast into it, transforming their darkness into light.  Suffering and torment is still terrible and well-nigh unbearable.  Yet the star of hope has risen–the anchor of the heart reaches the very throne of God.  Instead of evil becoming unleashed within man, the light shines victorious: suffering–without   ceasing to be suffering–becomes, despite everything, a hymn of praise.”  (Benedict XI, Spes Salvi)

Even in our weeping

I have always been intrigued by the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb.  Perhaps this is because I have spent too many hours of my life not recognizing the Lord even as He is standing there beside me.  I can get stuck in the mode of: “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”  I too easily focus on that, rather than on having faith that He will never, ever forsake me.  My prayer should instead be: “Lord, give me eyes to see.”

Needless to say, I was struck by this reflection in Magnificat on yesterday’s readings:

Despite the miraculous apparition of two angels sitting in the open tomb, “one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been,” Mary Magdalene remains unmoved, consumed only by her grief.  Two times heaven has to ask her (once via the angels, the second time by the risen Lord himself), “Woman, why are you weeping?” She has come to her own fatalistic conclusion about what happened to Christ–“They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him”–and it is from this pessimism that she must be converted.  When the risen Jesus speaks her name–“Mary!”–the Magdalene, like the Jewish people on the day of Pentecost, was “cut to the heart.”  The risen Christ’s command to “stop holding on” pertains to our preconceptions and stubbornness as well.  Something Greater than our sorrow is now at work in the world.  It is the reason why, even in our weeping, we bend over and peer into the tomb, full of expectation.