July 22, 2009
Saint Mary Magdalene. Memorial
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and wanting to grow in love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many, yet I trust in your grace never to stay down and always to get up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart. So I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.
Petition: Lord, grant me a love similar to Mary Magdalene’s passionate love for Christ.
1. The Lone Guard
How sad Mary Magdalene must have been as she sat and wept outside our Lord’s tomb! Our Lord had healed her soul; he had cast seven demons from her heart. She had stood at the foot of our Lord’s cross, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John. She had washed our Lord’s feet with her tears; now her tears flow down her face. She’s alone. Or rather she experienced an existential loneliness in the face of the bitter events of Good Friday. But she wasn’t alone. We are never alone in our suffering. Do I suffer alone, or do I open my heart to Our Lord in all my trials?
How Mary Magdalene must have endeared herself to our Lord. The other followers were locked up in their rooms. Yet here was this simple, humble woman, trying to accompany our Lord in the only way she knew. We have much to learn from this beautiful soul. How she moved the heart of Jesus! She’s the first one he appears to after his resurrection. What a gift. What a gift to have the Risen Lord say your name. Despite her anguish she wishes to honor her Lord who she is about to discover is God. In moments of trial and pain, do I remember to honor God with my thoughts, desires, intentions and actions? Does he remain number one for me no matter what I’m going through?
3. The Ultimate Message
As Mary Magdalene touched our Lord’s heart, he would now touch hers, and she would become the apostle to the apostles. She’s the first one to announce to the world that our Lord has risen from the dead. Jesus is the Lord of life. What was moving through her heart as she hurried towards the apostles? Let’s ask Christ for that gift – to have the same zeal as Mary Magdalene did as she went to proclaim that she had met the Risen Lord! Am I a witness to the saving message of Our Lord including, or especially, in the midst of great personal suffering?
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I want to endear myself to you just as Mary Magdalene did at your tomb. Then, fill me with the joy you instilled in her heart on that first Easter morning.
Resolution: Today I will see how I can help at my parish, in imitation of Mary Magdalene’s assistance to our Church 2,000 years ago.
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