Today is the memorial feast of St. Mary Magdalene, one of my favorite saints. She is a great testimony to the love and mercy of God. I pray to her and remember her when I am bogged down by my own weaknesses and sin. As Jesus walked among the people of Israel she was drawn to Him and Scripture tells us that Jesus delivered her from seven demons. What a poor, tormented girl she must have been!
Today the media (The DaVinci Code) would pervert her image, seeing her from the hedonistic point of view of the world today. But Mary is an example of a holy, courageous woman whose heart was totally converted to God and who followed Him wholeheartedly for the rest of her life. She stood with our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross. The Church assures us that she is a Saint.
Here is what St. Gregory the Great says of her today in the Liturgy of the Hours: “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…
Mary Magdalene longed for Jesus, she searched for Him, and He revealed Himself to her. Can we follow her example?
(Painting above by Alexander Ivanov (1834-1836) "The Appearance of Christ to Mary Magdalene)