go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.”
Words of Jesus to Faustina recounted in her Diary, par. 206
In His home town of Nazareth, all spoke highly of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth. Yet, notice the words of Jesus that follow this statement. He makes them angry by telling them that a prophet is not welcome in his home town and he brings up two instances from their past history where God favored others rather than His chosen people.
Fast forward to the scene at the tomb on the morning of Jesus’ resurrection. Mary Magdalene is distressed because she thinks someone has stolen the body of Jesus. Her pain of heart and sorrow turn to joy when the gardener reveals His true identity. Jesus is alive, Her Lord is with her again but then He tells her, “Do not hold on to me” (Jn. 20:17).
There seems to be a similar disconnect in both of these scenes. Jesus came to redeem us. He came to free us from the captivity of sin. He wants all of us – each of us – to spend eternity with Him in perfect Joy. He tells Faustina to “bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy,” but then, at times, He seems to desire distance from those he loves.
One of the difficulties that God had over the centuries with His Chosen People, the Israelites, was their understanding of what it meant to be “chosen.” God did not choose them because they were special; they were special because God chose them from among all the peoples of the world to be a people set apart so that through them He could bring redemption to all mankind. He came for all.
Did the people of Nazareth want to keep Jesus for themselves? Did Mary Magdalene want to keep Him for herself? There is a necessary detachment here that shows us that Christ’s Mercy is not found in our possession of Him, but in His possession of us. Our salvation is found in our giving up everything for Him.