Mary Magdalene’s your teacher in all this. She went to the tomb “the first day of the week, while it was still dark” (John 20.1). Empty she walked there. She’d gone to grieve. She wanted only to be near Jesus, even in his death. But she got far more than she wanted, more than she dared dream. Jesus, risen from the dead, stood before her and called her by name. Ecstatic, she ran to embrace him, then he sent her sprinting back up the path, the first to announce the gospel. Forevermore, she’ll be known and the “Apostle to the Apostles”—she got more than she every dreamed of getting (Matthew 28.8). Follow her. Like her, you’re probably pretty empty. You’d like to be able to pray with real desire the words of the Rule—“Oh, my love, I run toward you with all my heart and soul, and mind and strength”— but you tell me you don’t feel all that. Pray them anyway. They’ll keep you wanting to want what you’re saying. And wanting to want is all you need to stay on the path.

Christ will come to you soon enough. I promise. What’s more, Mary Magdalene—so abundantly rewarded for her perseverance—guarantees it.

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman