Wisdom makes herself known
April 29, 2021
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. And you also, if you watch daily at the threshold of wisdom, fixing your eyes on the doorway and, like the Magdalen, keeping vigil at the entrance to his tomb, you also will find what she found. You will know that what was written of Wisdom was written of Christ: She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
—Guerric of Igny (c.1070/80-1157): Sermon 3 On the Resurrection
This lovely sermon on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, written in the twelfth century, invites us to be like Mary Magdalene, who went seeking Jesus early on Easter morning.
Guerric sees Wisdom as Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word and the fount of all holy wisdom. In the sixth chapter of the Book of Wisdom, we read:
Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. —Wisdom 6:12-14
It’s a good reminder. If we, like Mary, want to see Jesus, we have to look for him. If we want to hear Jesus, we have to listen for him. If we want to know Jesus, we have to study the scriptures.
We can get so busy with the daily tasks of life that we forget to seek Jesus. When I say to myself that I have no time to study the scriptures or to pray, what I’m really saying is that I am not willing to make time. When I tell myself I cannot serve Jesus in the hungry, the prisoner, or the stranger, I am really staying I am not willing to go to the trouble of meeting Jesus.
Mary Magdalene had every reason not to get up and go to the tomb early on Easter morning. She had experienced an unbelievably challenging week. She was grieving. She was facing danger at the hands of authorities. And yet she went seeking Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Because Mary saw Jesus, she was able to bear witness to others. And they were able to bear witness to others. On and on, witnesses telling witnesses, until the present day.
Jesus Christ stands ready to meet us if we but seek him. We can meet him in the sacraments. We can meet him in the scriptures. We can meet him in those at the margins. He waits, if we are willing to go, as Mary went, and search for him.
Mosaic of Jesus Christ at Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. Photo by yours truly via Flickr.