“I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves” (Sgs 3:2).
The readings for Mass on today’s special feast begin with the love poem from the Song of Songs, in which the beloved is sought and finally found. The Psalm chant is the beautiful morning prayer, “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God” (Ps 63:2). We then hear the story in the Gospel when Mary Magdalene is searching for her Lord in the tomb (Jn 20:1-2, 11-18).
She who stayed with him in death was given the grace of first seeing Him alive again! The scene is a sign of the intimacy between a shepherd and his sheep that Jesus describes earlier in John, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (Jn 10:3b). It is when Jesus calls Mary by name that she instantly recognizes him. St. Gregory the Great reflected: “Jesus is not recognized when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognize me as I recognize you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself.”
A person’s name is not just a word. It is by virtue of our name that we are known by others at the very beginnings of relationship. For Christians, it is by our name that we are baptized and by which we are welcomed into the heavenly realm (cf. Rev 3:5). Fr. Solanus Casey exemplified this truth as the Porter for the Capuchin Friary of St. Bonaventure in Detroit. All who visited were known by name and welcomed. He was a channel of God’s love through person-to-person engagement. He opened the door of his heart to God’s people and listened to them, having “ears to hear” their concerns. He helped all encounter Christ — to know that He loved them, had a plan for them, and that faith in God would set them free. Like the Good Shepherd, he turned away no-one who was seeking, and he joyfully delivered the Good News of God’s saving and healing power.
We ask Fr. Solanus to intercede for us as we pray for the gift of knowing others in Christ — that we may recognize Jesus in all whom we encounter, and that they may know Him through us.
Prayer for the Canonization of Father Solanus Casey
O God, I adore You. I give myself to You.
May I be the person You want me to be,
and may Your will be done in my life today.
I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.
If it is Your will, bless us with the Canonization of
Father Solanus so that others may imitate
and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.
As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,
I ask You, according to Your will,
to hear my prayer for…(your intention)
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Blessed be God in all His designs.”