Feast & Saint for the day: Mary Magdalene (died c. 63)
Song of Songs 3:1-4b or 2 Cor 5:14-17; Psalm 63; John 20:1-2, 11-18
“Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.” (Today’s Responsorial verse.)
For Moses the “Glory of the Lord” was perceived in the burning bush and, later by the “pillar of cloud” by day and the “pillar of fire” by night as the Israelites were on their journey to the Promised Land. For St. Mary Magdalene it was “Resurrection Glory” that so covered Jesus making it difficult for her to recognize Him. Two very different kinds of “Glory” that can make it difficult for some of us to see and recognize Jesus – or the presence of God – when He’s right in front of us. For Mary Magdalene the turning point was when she was called by name. That was the thing that pulled her out of her sorrow and loss and prompted her to grab on to Jesus in order to keep His presence near. There’s an old “Gospel Hymn” floating through my mind right now: I heard the Lord, call my name listen close, you’ll hear the same.” If we listen closely – like Mary Magdalene – we’ll find out that the calling of our name is what sends us out as Apostles. Remember, the word, “Apostle” means “One who is sent [out].” Mary Magdalene is given the honor of being the “Apostle to the Apostles” – the first “preacher” of the Resurrection. That’s why she is the patroness of the Dominican Order – the “Order of Preachers.” How did she acquire this title? From her “perfect love” that casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18) But it wasn’t the kind of love that you hold on to – just for yourself – but, rather, a kind of love that you run with as you go out to share the joy that you have discovered. Jesus tells her, “Don’t cling to me … but go and tell…” By virtue of our baptism we are anointed as “priest, prophet and king and our lips and ears – and all our senses – are opened in order that we can proclaim the Lord’s goodness to all whom we encounter on our journey to the Kingdom.
St. Mary Magdalene pray for us that we will recognize the presence of Jesus in our lives and hear Him calling us by name. Amen!