Always serving Him with fidelity and courage
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
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
Mary Magdalene became a devout disciple of Christ and traveled with other women to serve...
Today as we honor St. Mary Magdalene, we celebrate a woman who became a loyal and valued follower of Jesus after He had cured of her of seven demons, most likely some physical disorder. For many centuries her story was confused with that of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair and, sometimes, with Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Today, it is believed that these were three separate women. Mary Magdalene became a devout disciple of Christ and traveled with other women to serve and assist His needs and those of His Apostles. She had the courage to stay with Jesus’ during His crucifixion when so many others deserted Him. She was also with Him for his burial and she would return to the tomb on the third day, only to find it empty. After rushing to tell Peter and John the news, she went back with them and then stayed after they left.
“Mary…saw two angels in white sitting there…where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid Him’” (John 20:11-13). At that point, Mary Magdalene turned around and saw someone she did not recognize. She asked if this man whom she took to be the gardener had been the one to take Christ’s body away. So she offered to take charge of Him. Instead, “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’” (John 20:16) Finally, she recognized Him. St. Mary Magdalene became the first person to see Christ Risen. She tried to cling to Him, but He sent her on a mission. It was her singular task to tell the Good News to the Apostles. We do not know anything from Scriptures about her life after Easter Sunday. Some traditions say that she journeyed with other disciples to evangelize in Ephesus or in France.
Suggested missionary action: Today we can pray to St. Mary Magdalene to help us grow in faith in our Savior – and to proclaim our faith to others through our words and example. And, through our prayers and material help, we can assist the Church’s work of evangelization around the world.