”He called me Mary. He said I am His. I am redeemed. … I was one way, and now I am completely different. And the thing that happened in between was Him. So, yes, I will know Him for the rest of my life.” – Mary Magdalene
These have to be my favorite lines from the entire Season 1 from The Chosen. When I tell stories about my younger days and decisions that I made, people don’t often believe me. A dear priest close to my heart once told me as much after my general confession.
“Yes, it is all true,” I said. “All of it.”
“A lot of very bad things could have happened to you,” he replied. “I want you to go out there, look at the crucifix, and ask Jesus why He spared you.”
I have tears in my eyes as I write this. There was an immense conviction I felt that day because I finally understood the mercy of God and knew I couldn’t keep it to myself. Being yoked to Christ, I needed to share the truth, goodness, and love that was poured into my heart that day.
The confession of every single one of my sins committed in my lifetime was not meant to shame me and leave me in the mire of guilt. It – and every confession before and after – had the purpose of showing me that after every turn I made away from Jesus, He was still loving me through it all…waiting for me to come back. And when it happened, He was the one who pursued me.
I couldn’t deny Him anymore. He was too important. It was too painful to do life without the Him. There would be fierce battles to fight against habits, behaviors, and a very negative mindset, but the Lord gave me the grace to show up everyday and seek His face. And now I see it more as a process of becoming. He and I working together – Him doing more of the molding and conquering while I do the yielding and obeying.
The evidence of Mary Magdalene’s redemption in Episode 2 reminded me of God’s simple work in my heart. I would be the one to complicate things, but every time I made a choice to return to Him and honor Him and His commandments, I would recognize His presence once again…not that He ever really left.
I love the character development in this show. The writers do a beautiful job of drawing out their personalities and daily experiences that make these biblical figures come alive. It is also calling me back into the richness of Scripture, opening my mind again to the Word of God in a way familiar to the early days of my conversion.
And Shabbat…yes, I am praying for its meaning and purpose to truly direct our family’s celebration of the Lord’s Day. It was so central to the lives of the Jews, as they gave worship and thanks to God for all His benefits. Sunday Mass has always been important to us, but even beyond this sacred hour, what else is He calling us to do with one another? This is something we will be listening for in the next few days…