Today we celebrate the life of St. Mary Magdalene who faithfully followed Christ through His ministry, death and Resurrection
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22, 2021): SGS 3:1-4; PS 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; JN 20:1-2,11-18
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In today’s Gospel according to St. John, we also learn how she wanted to do all she could to reverently serve Christ by going to His tomb on that first Easter Sunday dawn.
As we revere the love and loyalty of St. Mary Magdalene to her Redeemer and ours, we can also embrace her example of persevering discipleship. In the lovely reading from the Song of Songs, we are reminded of the profound relationship that existed between God and Israel and which we now also see between Christ and His Church. Moreover, the memorable words speak of the yearning of each soul in seeking its true and ultimate love, “I found him whom my heart loves” (Song of Songs 3:4). Mary, from the town of Magdala, had endured the anguish of seven demons before Jesus healed her. It is not stated in Scriptures what form this affliction took, but afterwards she clearly made the decision to devote herself to helping Christ on His mission announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God and the gift of salvation.
We hear about Mary Magdalene supporting our Blessed Mother during the Crucifixion of her Son. In today’s Gospel according to St. John, we also learn how she wanted to do all she could to reverently serve Christ by going to His tomb on that first Easter Sunday dawn. A little later, as she wept there, she saw angels, and then our Lord Himself. But she did not realize who He is until “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!… Go to My brothers and tell them, I am going 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 then reported what He told her” (John 20:17-18). He gave her a task that was singularly her own. And in doing what He directed she became the “Apostle to the Apostles.” Because she declared the wondrous news of the Resurrection of Jesus as He instructed, in 2016, Pope Francis elevated this holy day in her honor. Instead of a memorial, it is now a feast day, equivalent to those celebrated for the male Apostles.
Suggested missionary action: We can imitate St. Mary Magdalene by sharing the Good News with all we meet. Through our words and example we can reveal the light of Christ’s love and the saving power of His Crucifixion and Resurrection wherever we go. And we can support missionaries in the Pope’s missions who proclaim this Good News as they serve the poor.