Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
John 20:1-2; 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, 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.” Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet 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.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But 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.
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.
- 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?
- “Mary!” 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?
- 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.