Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Easter, day 18 

One of the things to ponder in relation to the resurrection is why people didn’t recognize the Jesus that they had been friends with for 3 years.  The reason could be that with his resurrection, he became present to everyone and so he was to be found in the faces and the presence of everyone who accepted him, so he, personally represented everyone not only himself.  Our experience is that we know the presence of Jesus by actions, not necessarily by faces.  So we recognize Jesus in others by their actions.

One of the persons the church honors today is Blessed   Margaret of Castello (1287-1320). She was born of a noble family, but the family did not recognize Jesus in her.  She was born blind, had a curvature of the spine which made it difficult for her to walk and she was a dwarf.  Embarrassed by her, her parents imprisoned her for 13 years in a room attached to the family chapel where she could participate in the Eucharist and be educated in the faith by the family chaplain but not see by other people. The chaplain taught her about God, His love, His reason for creating us and, as soon as she could speak, taught her to pray.   She was completely unaware about being different from other people and was taught that she was God’s “pearl”- which is the meaning of Margaret.  

When she was about 20, her parents took her to a shrine and prayed for her healing, but it did not occur so they abandoned her.  People in the town of Castello took turns caring for her while she proclaimed the presence of the Risen Lord to them by her prayers and her charity. She was taken in by a group of nuns for a short time and then went back into the care of families in the community where she opened a small school for children instructing them in faith and the psalms.  She died at age 33. 250 years later, when her body was exhumed for transfer, it was found to be intact.

Many miracles occurred during Margaret’s lifetime, but hundreds more since her death. On the day of her funeral, the parents of a little girl carried her in their arms to reach the pallet where the body of Margaret lay. The child was not only a mute, but was crippled since birth because of a severe curvature of the spine. She had never been able to walk. They placed the little one on the ground next to Margaret’s body. All joined the tearfully beseeching parents in their appeal for a cure. The crowd thought it was witnessing an optical illusion — but no, there was Margaret’s left arm rising and reaching over to touch the little cripple beside her. As it did, the little girl immediately stood up and called out in a loud voice, “I have been cured through Margaret.” Witnesses signed documents testifying to the cure of the two ailments of the child

So, no one recognized the face of Jesus in the person of St. Margaret of Castello, but they did experience his power through her.
“Though my father and mother forsake me, yet will the Lord receive me. Psalm 27-10

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