One of the greatest capability of man is his freedom to choose. In the face of the constant changes of life, I always have a choice. And yet, this great power is rooted in man’s basic deficiency – his finitude, his limitedness.
Because I have only two hands I can hold only so much. I must choose what to take up and what to leave behind. I only have 24 hours given to me each day. Therefore, I must choose with whom and how to spend these hours. Because I have a limited amount of material resources, what I give to someone I can no longer give to another. I have to decide with whom and how to share my physical goods.
Paradoxically, it is through my finitude that I experience intimations of the infinite in my life. I find my wants and desire to be almost limitless, boundless. There is always something else and something more I long for. My yearnings, my hungers. my thirsts are insatiable. Even my capacity for love and giving can be limitless if I choose to do so. In my heart, here is always room for one more person to love. Though I only have two hands, I have learned that I always have something to give even when I seem to have nothing else to give – be it a touch, an embrace or just a reaching out and giving my hand for someone to hold.
It is truly amazing how the God of Creation, who made us all out of nothing, is also the God of Options and Possibilities, who turn our weaknesses and inadequacies into endless blessings. Today is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Out of her nothingness, God gave us a model of a most loyal and most courageous disciple. She it was from whom Jesus drove out seven demons. She was a known prostitute. And yet, Jesus called her to follow Him. And she did. She stayed on even when everybody else had fled in fear and disappointment at the crucifixion. It was no surprise that it was to her that the Risen Christ first appeared.
Lord, show us your mercy and love.
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.