One of the great blessings of a big family, and a w i d e family in particular, is seeing the unlikely sibling pairings that develop.
Since her toddlerhood, my seventh has had a special relationship with her oldest brother, despite—or perhaps because of—their eleven-year-age difference. She’s now six, and he’s seventeen and a senior in high school. She recently whisper confessed to me that while the rest of us have been praying for him to get into college, she hasn’t been because she doesn’t want him to go away.
We had to have a chat about how our relationships with the people we love the most change and evolve throughout our lives. We will probably have to let him go, for now, and trust that our love for him will be deepened and transformed as it moves to another phase.
It’s not quite the same situation, of course, but it’s what I think of when I read what Jesus is saying to Saint Mary Magdalene in today’s Gospel. She can’t hold on to Him as her friend and teacher. She needs to let go of Him as a Man so she can embrace Him as God. She can’t get caught up in her expectations for the moment and for her life, because Jesus has a new and different love for her to experience. And an important job for her to do.
Willing to trust Jesus, Mary Magdalene becomes the Apostle to the Apostles. She is the one tasked with sharing the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection with His closest companions. What a beautiful privilege and responsibility.
I think Mary Magdalene would tell my daughter—and all of us—to let go a little and trust that God’s plan for us is bigger than the one we can imagine for ourselves.
Revisit this moment in this stunning fresco.
Kendra Tierney is a forty-three-year-old mother of ten and wife of one living in and working on a big old fixer-upper house in Los Angeles. She's a homeschooler and a regular schooler and is relishing the new freedom from carpooling that's come with a sixteen-year-old in the house. Her book, The Catholic All Year Compendium, Liturgical Living for Real Life is here. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here. She is a contributing author to our Works of Mercy Study: Misericordia.