‘On the first day of the week…’
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22, 2020): SGS 3:1-4; PS 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; JN 20:1-2,11-18
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Mary Magdalene became the Apostle to the Apostles...
St. Mary Magdalene loved Jesus. Like all of us, she loved Him because He first loved her. He cast seven demons out of her, probably indicating that she had a serious illness. After that, she was foremost among a group of women disciples who followed Christ and helped support Him and His Apostles. Mary Magdalene, along with a few of these women, as well as St. John were the only ones among our Savior’s many followers who risked staying with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of His cross on Good Friday. And, just as she had witnessed His death, she was the first to witness that Jesus was no longer in the place where had been laid. “Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning…and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Him’” (John 20:1-2).
And so, Mary Magdalene became the Apostle to the Apostles. She herself did not yet understand what had happened. She had gone to Christ’s tomb in grief and now she, like Peter, was still at a loss to comprehend the magnitude of Easter morning. Surely, like the other close disciples, Mary Magdalene had heard Jesus say that after His suffering and death He would rise again. So she waited and wondered and prayed – and then she saw. Christ was alive, and not only alive, but glorified. And she, and all believers then and since then, knew the enduring exaltation of the Resurrection. Our Redeemer had laid down His life for His people, each and every one of us. And when He left the darkness of the tomb he took us with Him. That matchless morning, Mary Magdalene heard Him speak her name and she knew her beloved Lord. Now it is for us to listen for His voice and to respond in faith and love, today and every day.