JULY 22: ST. MARY MAGDALENE. MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARIES.
The Sinner Turned Saint, Example of a Sincere Contrition, an Unwavering, Faithful and Fearless Love Manifested in Concrete Deeds.
GOSPEL OF JULY 22, FEAST OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
Mass and proper readings HERE.
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S SAINT
Dear brethren in Christ, Happy feast day of St. Mary Magdalene! She is an example of God’s abounding mercy and a person’s correspondence to divine grace; the repentant sinner turned saint, the woman out of whom seven demons were cast (cf. Lk 8:2). A very beautiful woman, with long lovely hair, she met Jesus at Simon’s home and went to weep at his feet, feeling sorrow for her evil life, breaking an alabaster flask of ointment to anoint His feet and wiping them dry with her long beautiful hair.
Jesus was touched with such sincere repentance arising from a great love but the Pharisee present in Simon’s house was scandalized and said to himself:
“if this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner (lk 7:39).”
But Jesus, reading the mind of those present, directed Himself to Simon saying:
“Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time i came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” He said to her, “your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “your faith has saved you; go in peace (Lk 7:44-50).”
- OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, LIKE ANY HUMAN BEING, YEARNS AND EXPECTS FROM EACH ONE OF US SMALL DETAILS OF AFFECTION, as we have just read in the above Gospel passage. Mary Magdalene, no matter how great her sins were, had a tender and sensible heart which knew how to manifest its great love in small deeds.
- But above all, HER SINCERE REPENTANCE WON OUR LORD’S HEART AND FROM THEN ON SHE RECTIFIED HER WAYS, FOLLOWED AND SERVED JESUS IN AN UNCONDITIONAL MANNER, UNAFRAID FOR HERSELF, THINKING ONLY OF HOW TO SERVE THE LORD. Her love, determination and sensibility was beyond Our Lord’s death such that she was well-concerned on how to anoint with spices Jesus’ body in the tomb, even if she knew that there was no one who could help her and the other women remove the huge stone which sealed the entrance to Jesus’ tomb.
- Her love for Jesus became even more patent when not finding His Sacred Body, Mary began to weep (Cf. Jn 20: 1-2;11-18) and seeing someone whom she had mistaken to be the gardener said: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away (Jn 20:15).”
MARY MAGDALENE, THE GREAT SINNER WHO RECTIFIED HER WAYS, STAYED FAITHFUL AND PERSEVERED ALONG THE PATH OF FOLLOWING JESUS AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH GOD WITH AN UNWAVERING LOVE, CONCRETE AND GENEROUS IN DEEDS, AND UNDAUNTED WITH THE DIFFICULTIES. For this, she received the reward to be the “first” to whom Jesus appeared after resurrecting from the dead [the word “first” in quotes for I believe that Jesus went to His Mother first, before appearing to Mary Magdalene] and received the mission to announce the great joy of Jesus’ Resurrection to the apostles.
Dear friends: YOU AND I…WE TOO ARE SINNERS…CALLED BY GOD TO BECOME HOLY, TO BECOME SAINTS, IN SPITE OF OUR ERRORS, OUR PAST, RIGHT THERE WHERE GOD HAS PLACED US… SO? Let us move on then, dear brethren, let us fill ourselves with hope in our daily journey towards holiness, out of love for God, following the beautiful example of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, AN EXAMPLE OF SINCERE CONTRITION, UNWAVERING, FEARLESS AND FAITHFUL LOVE MANIFESTED IN CONCRETE DEEDS!
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: https://medias.expertissim.com/media/cache/media_zoom/uploads/object/2014/12/01/12225861/2500x2500_54804d1ab47bb.jpg
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S FEAST
TOPIC: Do you ask God to RIGHT you so that you become the RIGHT person for your spouse?
The Song of Songs is one of the books of the Old Testament. It has 8 chapters and is a collection of poems that explores love and sexual desires.
It is literature in the wisdom and tradition of Solomon.
Our Christian tradition uses this book as an allegory of God’s love for His people. In verses 1-4, the symbolism of separation and loss, reunion and intimacy reflect our relationship with God.
The bride seeking her husband is similar to us seeking God. We must remember though that God sought us out first. In His love for us, He sent Christ into the world to show us what love can achieve.
The story of Mary Magdalene being the first to find the risen Christ in today’s gospel reminds us how He first showed Mary Magdalene His mercy and compassion that led to her conversion.
The power and intensity of love is highlighted in the last part of the book:
Close your heart to every love but mine;
hold no one in your arms but me.
Love is as powerful as death;
passion is as strong as death itself.
It bursts into flame
and burns like a raging fire.
Water cannot put it out;
no flood can drown it.
But if any tried to buy love with their wealth,
contempt is all they would get.
(Song of Songs 8:6-7)
It is a beautiful ode to the life-giving nature of committed love in marriage. But love can turn sour if abused. Its destructive tendency will reverberate around if mercy and compassion are not restored. And this is where God’s intervention is needed.
While love and marriage is a gift from God, to have Him at the center of the marital relationship must be desired. For while He is the ARCHITECT of our marriages, we must be the ones to CONSTRUCT it for it to become a sanctuary of life-giving love.
If we allow God’s grace to constantly flow into our relationship as husband and wife, it can be a powerful instrument of change to make the world attuned to and returned to God, beginning with ourselves, and then our children.
Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker says this: “I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person. But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. It is far more important to BE the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person.”
Ask God to RIGHT you so that you will be the RIGHT person your spouse married.
HOLY MASS JULY 22, 2020