I HAVE SEEN THE LORD

Feast of St Mary Magdalene
(Song of Solomon 3:1-4; Jn 20: 1-2, 11-18)
1.0. The Question of the Magdalene
Today we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, one of the prominent women in the Gospels. She is mentioned about twelve times in the Gospels. Magdala was a town in Galilee, where Jesus visited severally. Mary of Magdala was delivered from seven demons, and afterward, she became a follower of Jesus. She was identified among several women that supported Jesus’ ministry (Lk 8:1-3). And she watched the crucifixion from a distance and saw where Jesus was buried (Mk 15:40). Mary Magdalene was the first to witness the resurrection and the first to announce the resurrection to the other disciples. This has earned her the title in some quarters of “Apostle to the Apostles.”
 
But there are some unresolved questions about this woman. Is Mary Magdalene the same as the sinful woman that anointed the feet of Jesus? (Lk 7:36-38). Maybe her taking oil to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus can make one think that the two personalities are the same. Was she the same as the woman caught in adultery? (Jn 8:1-11). Some traditions try to associate her with Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Nevertheless, these were not specified in the Bible. But the fact that the Church has a saint day for Martha, and Mary Magdalene is celebrated in place of the other Marys, apart from the Mother of Jesus, gives room for the above assumptions.
 
2.0. “I have seen the Lord”

“Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’, and she told them that He had said these things to her.” Here is a woman who discovered Jesus along the way, committed her life totally to Him, and is now addressed by Jesus with such respect and importance! After her deliverance, she discovered the truth that is Christ Jesus and surrendered her life totally to Him. It was in response to the love she has for Jesus that she went to anoint His body. Then she became the first to witness the resurrection.
My beloved brother and sisters, we thank God for the gift of Mary Magdalene and the example of her life. Each day allows us to rediscover the truth of Christ Jesus and fall in love with Him anew. This brings newness to our lives and disposes of us for a deeper Divine encounter. But, Like Mary, we must be committed and be responsible for the demands that this love makes on us.
 
St Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of the contemplative life, glove makers, converts, penitent sinners, sexual temptation,  people ridiculed for their piety, Perfumers, hairdressers, pharmacists, tanners, and women. In 2016, Pope Francis raised the level of her liturgical memory from ‘memorial’ to ‘feast.’
 
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020.
Feast of St Mary Magdalene.

 

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