Archive for the ‘St. Mary Magdalene’ Category

He Proved Faithful — Good Friday Homily

March 25, 2016

Few proved faithful to Jesus on Good Friday, but on Good Friday Jesus proved himself faithful to us.

The political leaders were supposed to serve justice, but Pilate and Herod failed to protect Jesus as an innocent man. Jesus protected us when we were guilty.

The religious leaders were supposed to serve holiness, but the High Priests and the Sanhedrin failed to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Jesus accepted us so that we might become holy.

The disciples were supposed to serve their teacher and lord, but Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, and the others abandoned him. By enduring his suffering and death, Jesus proved himself faithful to us.

Jesus’ mother Mary was faithful. She stood with him at the foot of the cross. It was a consolation for Jesus to have her there. Two of his beloved disciples were also there: Mary Magdalene and the apostle John. Jesus was grateful to have them close by.

Today, on this Good Friday, by the grace of God, we are at the foot of the cross. Let us pray for mercy, for ourselves and for others. Despite our past unfaithfulness, let us honor his faithfulness to us. Jesus is pleased that we are here with him, and he is grateful for our gratitude.

View From the Cross by Tissot

Encountering Jesus at His Ministry’s Beginning & End

January 9, 2015

Comparing John 1:35-43 & 20:11-18

  • John the Baptist is with two of his disciples when he points out Jesus “the Lamb of God” passing by. Jesus turns, sees the two disciples following him, and asks, “What are you looking for?
  • Mary of Magdala is with two angels at the empty tomb when Jesus comes by. She turns around and sees Jesus, but does not know it’s him. He asks her, “Whom are you looking for?
  • John the Baptist’s two disciples answer Jesus, “Rabbi, (that is, Teacher) where are you staying?
  • Mary, recognizing the risen Lord, says to him, “Rabbouni!” (which also means Teacher.)
  • Jesus tells the curious duo, (one of whom we are told is St. Andrew the Apostle) “Come, and you will see.
  • Jesus tells the overjoyed Mary, “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

Points for Reflection:

St. Mary Magdalene Clings to Jesus□ We first come to Jesus looking for something. (“What are you looking for?”) But we are in fact looking for a Someone. (“Whom are you looking for?”)

□ Our search begins with curiosity, but grows finally into love.

□ Jesus is a Teacher to them all, but he more than a teacher to Mary of Magdela. (Similarly, in Matthew’s telling of the Last Supper, all the apostles call Jesus “Lord,” while Judas calls him merely, “Rabbi.”)

□ Jesus makes the first two apostles, but he makes Mary (as the Church Fathers call her) “the Apostle to the Apostles.

□ Jesus draws us near (“Come and see,”) and then he sends us forth on mission (“Go to my brothers and tell them…”)

□ Jesus’ baptism leads to his tomb and resurrection.

□ Jesus, who dwelt on earth, now dwells with His Father in Our Father’s house. Jesus wills that we come to dwell with him, in Heaven, as it is on earth.

Whom Her Heart Loves — July 22 – St. Mary Magdalene

July 23, 2011

Mary Magdalene in today’s gospel shares obvious parallels with the woman in the first reading from the Song of Songs. The woman in the Song of Songs rose to find him whom her heart loves. Mary Magdalene rose early in the morning and came to the tomb. The woman in the Song of Songs sought her beloved but did not find him. Mary Magdalene reported to the apostles, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” The watchmen came upon the woman in the Song of Songs. As Mary wept, she saw two angels in white. The woman in the Song of Songs asked, “Have you seen him whom my heart loves?” Mary said (unknowingly to Jesus,) “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” The woman in the Song of Songs had hardly left the watchmen when she found him whom her heart loved. Jesus said Mary’s name; she turned and said to him, “My rabbi!” The woman in the Song of Songs goes on to say, “I took hold of him and would not let him go.” Jesus had to say to Mary Magdalene, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

So what is the reason behind this providential parallel between Mary Magdalene and the woman in the Song of Songs? I have heard it said that the Song of Songs is the book of the Bible on which the saints have written about most. Perhaps God gave us Mary’s example so that we would not interpret the Song of Songs merely as a description of the corporate love between Yahweh and the people of God, or between Jesus and His bride the Church, but so that we would also see in it the love affair between Him and every person individually.

Our faith is not based upon feelings alone. (Feelings are too fickle to be our foundation.) Yet, feelings of the heart are an important part of our relationship with God. As Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all you mind, with all your strength, and with all your soul.” We must love Him with the intellect of our minds, with the strength of our bodies, and with the will of our souls, but we must also love Him with the emotions of our hearts. Stir up your affections for Christ, pattern the emotions of Mary Magdalene, who showed true devotion to Him whom her heart loved.