“Jesus said to her … ‘Go to My brothers and tell them, I am going to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22, 2022): 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 of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her. (John 20:17-18)
Today we honor the most significant of the women who became Jesus’ disciples, St. Mary Magdalene. In the Gospel according to St. Luke we learn that she was one of several women healed by Jesus from evil spirits and infirmities. These women accompanied Him and provided for His needs and those of His Apostles and others. For centuries, Mary Magdalene was thought to have been a prostitute who repented her former life. This seemed to have been caused by her story being combined with that of other women whom Christ helped. As a faithful follower of our Savior, whatever her earlier life may have been, she certainly recognized and had contrition for her own sins -- just as every Christian is called to do. Today’s Psalm surely speaks of both lament and rejoicing in embracing the merciful goodness of the Almighty. “O God, You are my God whom I seek; for You my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. … You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to You; Your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:2,8-9).
In St. Mary Magdalene we find the patron of penitents who is also the Apostle to the Apostles. Along with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John, she stood at the foot of our Lord’s cross as He died to redeem the sins of the world. The other Apostles and most of the disciples had kept away out of fear for their own lives. But these three and a few other loyal, loving followers of Christ stayed until what seemed to be the end. Today’s Gospel shows Mary Magdalene going to Jesus’ tomb at dawn on Sunday; to what she presumed would be His final resting place. After seeing the tomb empty and telling Peter and John, she returned and wept until our Lord came and called her by name. Her life and the life of the world was changed with the message He commissioned her to proclaim to the other disciples. Jesus Christ is risen!!!
Suggested missionary action: We can thank St. Mary Magdalene for providing such a beautiful model of service and fidelity to our Lord. We can imitate her joyful obedience in sharing His message. We can also ask her to assist us in adoring Christ Crucified and Risen all our days.