July 22, 2021
by Nicky Santos, S.J.
Creighton University's Heider College of Business
click here for photo and information about the writer

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lectionary: 603

Song of Solomon 3:1-4b
Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
John 20:1-2, 11-18

Praying Ordinary Time

The Story of Pope Francis' raising Mary Magdalen's memorial to a Feast Day, like the Apostles, in her role as "Apostle to the Apostles."

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Beginning Again: Talking with God

Today we celebrate the feast of Mary Magdalene that Pope Francis elevated to the status of a festivity in 2016. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus after his crucifixion. She was the one who remained close to Jesus through his passion and stood beside Mary, his mother and John, the beloved disciple at the foot of the cross. While many of the other disciples were afraid and remained within locked doors, Mary Magdalene was not afraid to venture out in the early morning while it was still dark to go visit the tomb where Jesus was laid. Even though she failed to recognize Jesus in the person - she thought was the gardener - her story is one that is filled with hope, something that we so desperately need these days. Thinking that the body of Jesus had been stolen she is filled with grief but yet she is persistent in seeking Jesus out: “Sir….tell me where you laid him?” Her pain and sorrow blinds her from seeing Jesus but she is still able to recognize his voice as he calls her name “Mary” and she responds “Rabbouni.”

In our moments of grief, perhaps the loss of a loved one, or, having a debilitating disease or illness, or losing our job, our eyes can be blinded by our pain and sorrow. We might fail to see God in our lives, perhaps even feeling that he might have abandoned us. But like Mary, we need to continue to be persistent in our faith, to never give up seeking God. And, then, lo and behold, like the sheep recognizing the voice of the shepherd, like Mary recognizing the voice that called her name, we become aware of God who never abandoned us, who was and is with us through our pain and sorrow, who rejoices with us in our moments of joy, who strengthens us in our moments of weakness. And, then, like Mary we can say “I have seen the Lord.”

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