REFLECTION FOR TODAY
July 22, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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. Jn. 20:11-12
Today July 22, we celebrate the feast of St. Mary Magdala. She was the same person our Lord early in His ministry, casted out seven demons. After her deliverance, she became an exceptionally faithful follower of Jesus. She listened to Jesus’ teachings, witnessed His miracles, was present during his final moment on earth and was the first person recorded in Scripture to whom Jesus appeared after His Resurrection.
Our gospel reference today recounts the event of the Sunday morning of the resurrection when Mary Magdala went to the tomb to complete the anointing of Jesus’ dead body as He laid in the tomb. But to her surprise, the tomb was empty. As mentioned today, she remained outside the tomb weeping.
Mary’s tears are beautiful. They are an expression of her deep devotion to her Lord. She did not yet understand that He had risen, but her fidelity to Jesus is a testimony to her love. Jesus had restored her dignity. He freed her from the seven demons who tormented her. She most likely had been a sinful woman in the past, but now she was singly devoted to the Savior of the World.
The witness of Mary of Magdala is one that should inspire us all. Mary first sought Jesus but did not find Him. She persevered and found Him. While she was seeking her longing grew stronger and stronger until at the highest pitch it was allayed in the embrace of Him who she was seeking.
Holy desires grow with delay. If they fade through delay, there are no desire at all. Such must be the love that inflame anyone who is searching for the kingdom of God, for truth and for heaven. Mary didn’t care if the authorities saw her at the foot of the Cross. If they were to persecute her as a result, it did not matter. She was faithful.
As a result of her unwavering fidelity, Jesus gave her a gift beyond imagination. He appeared to her, after being resurrected from the dead, and sent her to be an apostle to the Apostles. He sent her to go to the Apostles to tell them that Jesus had risen and that He was preparing to go to His Father in Heaven.
Reflect, today, upon the holy soul of this woman. She was a repentant sinner who turned her whole life around. She devoted everything to Jesus and, in return, received even more. In Heaven, Mary Magdalene will forever cling to Jesus and adore His Sacred Heart. May we all strive to imitate her by turning from our own life of sin and becoming unwaveringly faithful to our Lord.
Lord, You appeared first to Mary of Magdala after Your Resurrection. You now invite her to share in Your glorious life in Heaven. Help me to learn from her by turning away from all sin and becoming deeply devoted to You. May my fidelity to You, dear Lord, be absolute and unwavering, so that I, too, will one day share in the glory of Your Resurrection. Jesus, I trust in You.