ROME – God is a “dreamer,” and the risen Lord calls each of us by name and turns sorrow into joy, Pope Francis said during his general audience on May 17. Jesus does not simply accept suffering in this world, but wishes to usher change through his resurrection.
“There are many people around Jesus who are searching for God; but the prodigal reality is that long before that, God is concerned with our life, which he wants to elevate, and in order to do that he calls us by name, recognizing the individual face of each one of us,” the pope said.
“Every man is a story of love that God writes on this earth.”
In this Easter season, Pope Francis was inspired by the story of Mary Magdalen, who was the first to witness the resurrection, thus becoming the apostle of Christian hope. The pope compared her faith to that of the many women who go to cemeteries in order to visit a deceased love one.
“The most sincere bonds cannot be broken, not even by death,” Pope Francis told the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “There are those who continue to love, even if the person they love is gone forever.”
The pope described the practical nature of Mary Magdalen who, upon seeing that the stone of the sepulcher had been moved and the body of Christ was missing, assumed that someone had stolen it in the night as the city of Jerusalem slept.
The second visit by Mary Magdalene to the tomb is a slow and heavy one because she suffers both because of the death of Jesus and for the unexplainable theft of His body.
“As she is bent near the tomb, her eyes full of tears, God surprises her in the most unexpected way,” the pope said. “She discovers the most shocking event in human history when finally she is called by name: ‘Mary!’.”
The pope underlined the “persistent blindness” of Mary Magdalen before the mystery of the Resurrection in John’s Gospel, since she does not notice the presence of two angels and thinks that the man behind her is a gardener instead of the risen Christ.
“How beautiful that the first apparition of the Risen happened in such a personal way!” Francis said. “There is someone who knows us, sees our pain and disappointment, and who is moved by us and calls us by name.”
Jesus’ call to Mary sparked a revolution of joy in her life and, the pope said, this very revolution was destined to transform the life of every man and woman in the world.
“The resurrection of Jesus is not a joy that is given drop by drop but a waterfall that takes over all of life,” Pope Francis continued. “The Christian existence is not woven with soft joys, but with waves which overcome everything.”
The pope asked those present at the audience to think back to all the pain, defeat, and disappointment in their hearts and to remember that God calls us by name and tells us not to be sad because He has come to save his flock.
“Jesus is not one to simply adapt to the world, tolerating the persistence of death, sadness, hate, and moral destruction of people… Our God is not inert, but – allow me to use this word – our God is a dreamer: He dreams of the transformation of the world, which he realized through the mystery of the Resurrection,” the pope said.
Mary wants to embrace Jesus but her job is to spread the good news to the disciples. Thus the woman who was lost before meeting Jesus became the “apostle of the new and greatest hope.”
The pope concluded his general audience calling the faithful to listen to God calling us by name in moments of sadness and loneliness, so as to be witnesses to His Resurrection and joyfully announce: “I have seen the Lord!”