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Archive for July 22nd, 2019

Image result for mary magdalene announcing the resurrection to the apostles
“I HAVE SEEN THE LORD”

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, restored Mary Magdalene to health and called her to be the first witness of His resurrection. Heal us from all our infirmities, and call us to know You in the power of Your Son’s unending life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Scripture Readings:  Proverbs 31: 10-31   Psalm 73: 25-28  Acts 13: 16-31  St. John 20: 1-2, 10-18

About St. Mary Magdalene: Whenever the New Testament Gospels name the women who were with Jesus, Mary Magdalene is listed first (John 19:25 is the only exception), perhaps because she was the first to see the risen Savior alive. Luke 8:2 reports that Jesus had cured her of being possessed by seven demons. Through the centuries, she has often been identified with the repentant “woman of the city” who anointed Jesus’ feet as He sat at the table in the Pharisee’s home (Luke 7:36—50). But there is no biblical basis for this identification of her with a penitent prostitute. Nor is she to be identified with Mary, the sister of Martha, in Bethany. According to the Gospels, Mary Magdalene saw Jesus die; she witnessed His burial; and, most important, she was the first to see Him alive again after His resurrection (John 20:  11-18). It is for good reason that Bernard of Clairvaux calls her “the apostle to the apostles”.

We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved. (Quoted in Festivals and Commemorations, Augsburg Publishing House, 1980,  Pr. Philip H. Pfatteicher

Mary Magdalene was so distraught at the tomb that she did not recognize it was the Lord, but when He said one word, in a twinkling of an eye she knew who it was:

St. John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Earlier in St. John’s Gospel, the Lord teaches:

St. John 10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The Lord calls us by name.  We are baptized into the Name of the Lord, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  He opens the door into His sheepfold, His Church. There is no other way to get in by our merits, works and/or spiritual experiences. Repentance is admitting the truth about our wrongs and sin, and confessing the freedom by which Christ has set us free. Mary Magdalene heard the Good Shepherd’s voice calling her by name and she called upon the Name  of the Lord in His so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3).  He calls you.  Mary Magdalene was called and she called  out to the disciples:  He is risen! (cf. St. John 20:  18).  The Lord calls us to do the same, both as the Church and when called upon, one to one (1 Peter 3:15). 

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