Absorbed in Him


Happy Easter, readers! I hope everyone out there had a very blessed Triduum, the most sacred time of the entire year. A reflection that may be worth pondering this Easter season are the three elements of sacrifice. We have journeyed through Lent and are now rejoicing in His glory, and participating in that means offering back to Him our joy.

What constitutes sacrifice? These are: an offering/oblation, the slaying of the victim, and the consummation. Within Holy Mass these are represented by the Offertory, the Consecration, and the consuming by the priest of both Species. A question we can ask ourselves is, how are we applying this model to our own lives of offering ourselves to Jesus?

Whatever vocation we find ourselves in, we are called to offer sacrifice to God. The same graces are not necessarily continuously offered to us over a lifetime. He may pass by if we do not respond to His call . . . not simply a vocational call . . . but the daily call to self-denial, making of every moment an oblation for His glory.

The Paschal Mystery teaches us this, something that Mary Magdalene understood. Before the Last Supper, when Our Lord was gathered at Bethany, she poured out all. She was all-in for the Lord by dumping the precious and costly spikenard. Her generosity infuriated Judas and was the last straw for his betrayal. It pricked his conscience that he was all-in for himself. This supreme act of charity was Mary's oblation. 

Then, Mary Magdalene stayed with Him at Calvary. She lived out His words, "you are they who have continued with Me in my temptations." This was her slaying of the victim, participating in His death by being present to Him, turning from herself totally to God. This continued as she followed Him even to the tomb. She couldn't leave Him. It struck me very much this Triduum, that she couldn't even leave the empty tomb.

Finally, her consummation. Mary Magdalene is distraught, she barely even notices the angels right in front of her because she is totally absorbed in finding Him. Our Lord is the only Person on her mind. She simply doesn't even recognize Jesus Himself, thinking He is the gardener. Her clarity only comes when He says her name. Her identity. Then . . . she adores Him. This consummation brought about union . . . she wants to be united with Him. She becomes the "apostle to the apostles" in sharing this joy.

Let us imitate Mary Magdalene this Easter season and accompany the Lord in sacrifice, both our sufferings and our joys in offering ourselves completely to Him, that He may accomplish His will in us.