The Intensity of Love…

My inspiration for this article is drawn from Luke 7: 47

‘I tell you then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little, shows only a little love’.

Mary Magdalene lived a life everyone in the city described as ‘sinful’. She obviously was the talk of the town and it didn’t appear like she cared. She turned heads at all public gatherings as well as at religious gatherings and she enjoyed the provocative stares by the impure hearts of the men and even competed for attention with God in religious gatherings.

In one of the sermons of St. John Vianney, St. Jerome was quoted to have described Mary as a woman ‘greatly attracted to the pleasures of the world; who had a very strong taste for fashion and a great desire to look beautiful, so that all her thoughts and her cares were employed towards that end’.

I felt Mary was at the brink of it all when she realized she has had it! She had no rest, No true peace, and no joy: her soul was restless. Enough was enough!

To couple it all, she has heard of one amazing man, his miracles, and his demeanor: and how all those who encountered Him had never returned the same.

Whew! Mary realized how empty and vain, sinful and blind she had been. At that time she started to long to meet that man, Jesus. The fire of longing for God is a feeling of strong love. It’s like a fire of desire for God that burns to consume, but not consuming completely. It leaves you yearning and grasping for more…it brings tears, it brings remorse, it brings true repentance, it brings detachment from anything of this world.

On this day, Mary already burning to meet the gentle Savior, heard from words flying around, that the sweet and Gentle Jesus would be coming to dine with the Pharisees. She set out with her alabaster jar of perfume. She thought to herself ‘I will meet him today, I don’t care what the Pharisees or the people thinks or already know of me, I just want to meet Jesus, I want to be on His side, I want to finally show him what I feel for Him, The fire of His longing is creating restlessness in me, I have to meet Him, can’t take it anymore’.

She got to the room filled with the Pharisees and other guests and There He was…The ANSWER to everything she was feeling. She fell behind him, Holding on to His feet and wept, wetting his feet with her tears. The room went silent! What the Pharisees thought of her at this point didn’t matter to her, Jesus and to me. The room was saturated with the show of true love. Gentle Jesus just looked on. At that point, He wasn’t seeing her sins, all He saw was a heart overflowing with love. Mary wasn’t done with loving Him, she dried His feet with her hair, kissed them countless times and anointed them with the perfume she brought with her.

The remarkable thing for me was that, Mary never uttered any word: she never said ‘Forgive me Lord or Save me Lord’: She just loved genuinely! And that Love delivered her.

Jesus spoke up in confirmation of what had already taken place…And that was she had been forgiven.

‘I tell you then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little, shows only a little love’.

…Jesus Christ

Wow! Just Wow! Love is of varying degrees, now I know. The Mary Magdalene, we all knew became different! She was transformed: while the spectators were still wondering why she should be at the feet of Christ Jesus. She became a Saint! How did that happen? You ask me?

Love made it happen! Love transformed her! She was Love!

Prayer

Jesus I know I love you but I want to love you more and with great intensity and I want to see your face in the face of my neighbor. Please ‘up’ the intensity of my love. Amen

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