Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

July 22, 2019

Songs 3:1-4B


The Bride says:

Upon my bed at night
    I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
“I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.”
    I sought him, but found him not.
The sentinels found me,
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them,
    when I found him whom my soul loves.




2 Corinthians 5:14-17


Brothers and sisters:

The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!



Psalm 63:1-5, 7-8


O God, you are my God, I seek you,
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.



John 20:1-2, 11-18



Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”


But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.




When we think of Mary Magdalene, we are immediately transported to Easter morning when it was still dark. She had come seeking the remains of Jesus, expecting him to be dead and fearing, once she saw the rock rolled away, that his body had been stolen. She was in deepest grief and had no less reason to be afraid as the other disciples, yet she came, looking for the one she loved, to do something for him that he could not do: anoint his body.


After Jesus' death, the darkness had hidden the mysterious things: the rock rolled away, the resurrection, and angels appearing. With a mighty blast Jesus had been transformed and raised and the tomb had been opened. Mary was completely unaware of any of this as we know from her tears and her desire to find his missing body. Mary came innocently to anoint the body and became the first witness to proclaim to all that Jesus was risen and everything had been changed. Nothing would ever be the same for her or for any of creation again.


What was it that caused Mary Magdalene to receive such an honor? She was not set apart to conceive a child in her old age like Elizabeth. She was not led like holy Simeon and Anna into the temple to witness the Presentation of Jesus. She was not a shepherd in the field called upon by angels to witness to the Nativity. She was not selected to see Jesus Transfigured like Peter, James and John. No, Mary Magdalene was there to be the first witness to the Resurrection because she loved. She always wanted to be where Jesus was. She wanted to minister to Him in whatever way she could.


Mary Magdalene is known to us only as a sinner whom Jesus delivered of seven demons. After that, she followed Him and never looked back on her old life. It was all her choice to follow the Lord closely and minister to him.


Because of Mary Magdalene's example, we are all encouraged to turn our backs on sin and on the world to become great saints, evangelists, and people who find favor with God. We can do it just as she did. All we need is to love and to seek the Lord.


Today, ask Mary Magdalene to intercede for you to love the Lord more and to believe for miracles of conversion for your loved ones who are in the greatest need of mercy.



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