Jesus said to her, “Mary!” 

Mary was distraught. Not only had Jesus been publicly and brutally executed, but his body was missing. Undeterred by her burden of grief and misery, she pressed on to try to find out what had happened to him. As she peered into the tomb where Jesus had been laid to rest, she saw two angels. But rather than reacting with fear, she didn’t even flinch. No other consideration mattered, not even that Peter and John had already seen the empty tomb and had come back without having solved the mystery (John 20:9). She was focused wholeheartedly on finding Jesus.

Then Jesus spoke her name, and she recognized him.

Few of us will ever hear Jesus speak our names audibly. But when you pursue him as Mary Magdalene did, you can count on his promise that “my sheep will recognize my voice” (John 10:16). You will recognize it when a Scripture passage stands out in your mind or stirs your heart. You might “hear” his voice in your thoughts when an idea occurs repeatedly urging you to talk to, care for, or repent to someone. And sometimes you will recognize his voice through a new insight into God’s love for you.

So pursue Jesus even if you are dragging along a burden of grief or guilt or any other strong emotion. Turn your thoughts to the Lord and ask, “What are you doing right here, Jesus?” as you sit in a hospital waiting room or the carpool line at school. Stop for sixty seconds every hour to examine your conscience, or try to see what Jesus is doing around you at that moment.

Jesus is with you always, though sometimes it’s not easy to recognize him. But if we are as willing and determined as Mary Magdalene to set things aside and to focus wholeheartedly on him, we will hear his voice. The burdens you carry are not an obstacle to Jesus, nor do they disqualify you from finding him. “When you look for me, you will find me,” the Lord promises. “Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

“Holy Spirit, help me to seek Jesus today so that I might hear his voice.”

Acts 2:36-41
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
John 20:11-18


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