July 22, 2017

Mary Magdalene

July 22, 2017:  Mary Magdalene

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Listen
Pope Francis Amoris Lætitia capsule:  Marriage and virginity
Many unmarried people are not only devoted to their family but also serve in the Church and professionally; sometimes they're overlooked, causing a sense of isolation.  Many serve the Christian community through charity and volunteer work; others consecrate their lives to love of Christ and neighbor, enriching family, Church, and society.
Virginity is a form of love, a sign of the Kingdom's coming and the need for devotion to the Gospel, reflecting heaven.  Paul recommended it because he wanted everyone to concentrate on spreading the Gospel, but he said it was his personal preference, not demanded by Christ; he recognized the value of the different callings.  The Bible gives no reason to consider marriage inferior or virginity or celibacy superior; rather, the different states complement each other, some more perfect in one way and others in another.  In a sense marriage may be considered superior to the other sacraments; it symbolizes Christ’s union with the Church, or the union of his divine and human natures (Alexander of Hales).
So don't play one state off against the other:  the married and virgins, indeed every human being, can reach the perfection that flows from charity, through living the gospel faithfully.  (IV:158-60)
Read
      • Sgs 3:1-4b  I sought him whom my heart loves but did not find him.  The watchmen came and asked whether I've seen him.  I'd hardly left them when I found him.
      • 2 Cor 5:14-17  The love of Christ impels us.  He died for all, so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him.  Whoever is in Christ is a new creation; the old has passed away.
      • Jn 20:1-2, 11-18  When Mary Magdalene saw the stone removed from the tomb, she ran to Peter and John:  “They've taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  Angels:  “Why are you weeping?” “They've taken my Lord.”  Then she saw Jesus but didn't recognize him; she thought he was the gardener.  Jesus:  “Why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?” / “If you took him, tell me and I'll take him.”  / “Mary!” / “Rabbouni (Teacher)” / “Don't cling to me, for I haven't yet ascended, but go tell my brothers, ‘I'm going to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”  She announced to the disciples, “I've seen the Lord”....
      Reflect
        • Creighton:  Mary Magdalene shows us how we should love.  The 1st reading gives us a look at marital love, love from the heart that drives one to seek out the beloved, as Jesus seeks us.  Jesus often used marriage to help us understand his love for us, his bride, the Church.  The alternate reading reminds us of the kind of love Jesus demonstrated for us as he died for us.  He lived not for himself but for those he loves; that kind of love makes us a new creation, living love every day.  The psalm speaks of that new creation, of unquenchable thirst for God.  In Mary Magdalene we see kind of love.  She'd been with Jesus, seen his love in action, was cured by him, and cared for his needs during the later stages of his ministry.  She seemed to have an unquenchable love for him.  Her world was upset when he was crucified, but love drove her back to the tomb where she saw the stone rolled away and thought she'd lost him again.  She told the disciples, returned to the tomb, two returned to tell the rest while she stayed and wept, angels helped turn her tears to hope, and she saw Jesus, who cared for her and turned her sorrow to joy.  Lord, help me never forget that only you can quench my thirst.  Help me to follow her example of love for you and live out that kind of love every day.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "I hope so":   The Lord calls us to hope in Him.  In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined the longstanding belief in Mary's Assumption as a proclamation of hope. Lumen Gentium ends proclaiming Mary as "sign of sure hope."  Pope St. John Paul II introduced the Catechism with "Venerate the Lord, Christ, in your hearts.  Should anyone ask you the reason for your hope, be ready to reply."  "In hope we were saved....  Hoping for what we can't see means awaiting it with patient endurance."  Be a sign and prophet of hope. "This hope won't leave us disappointed, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit..."
        • Passionist:  Mary Magdalene was in Jesus' inner circle.  She followed him wherever he went; that would have been awkward, even unheard of.  Her choices reflected his mind and heart.  She spread the word about him and focused her hopes and dreams on him.  When he was crucified, she was paralyzed by grief.  When she first encountered the Risen Lord, she was looking for Jesus as he was and so missed him, but when she called her name, she recognized him.  He'd become the Risen Lord; new life had come; this led Paul to say, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:  the old has passed away; new things have come.”  Jesus insisted her memories would get in the way of her new understanding.  Only when she let go could she accept her re-creation from follower to witness to the Risen Lord, announcer of his presence and gift of new life.  As the first such witness, she preaches to us about the Risen Lord, his care and concern for us, his presence, our sharing in his victory, and our freedom to live as God's children.  She remains for us a beacon of faith, helping us to recognize the Risen Lord today.
        • DailyScripture.net:  "I have seen the Lord!":  We can miss the Lord when focusing on ourselves.  Mary didn't recognize the Risen Lord when she was focusing on the empty tomb and her grief, but once Jesus called her by name, she recognized him.  "I have seen the Lord" is the essence of Christianity.  We need to meet him and know him personally and intimately.  The Lord gives us eyes of faith to see his resurrection and victory, the foundation of our hope....
        • Universalis:  Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) was healed by Jesus. She ministered to him in Galilee and was present at his crucifixion.  Western tradition is that she's also “the woman who was a sinner” and sister of Martha and Lazarus, but many hold they're all different.
        Dress legend
        • 'Heart' pin:  I sought, didn't find, then found, him whom my heart loves (1st reading); Christ's love impels us (2nd reading)
        • 'Streets and crossings' tie:  In the streets and crossings I'll seek Him (1st reading)
        • 'Silverware' tie bar:  I'll be satisfied as with riches of a banquet (psalm)
        • 'Stone' tie pin:  "Mary Magdalene saw the stone removed from the tomb" (gospel)
        • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "I have seen the Lord" (gospel); "I have gazed toward you" (psalm)
        • '?' tie pin:  “Why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?”  “We don’t know where they put my Lord.” (gospel)
        • 'Hands' pin, 'phone' tie bar:  "I'll lift my hands and call your name"; "your right hand upholds me" (psalm)
        • Two 'angel' pins:  People ate the bread of angels; "in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy" (psalm); Mary saw two angels sitting at the tomb,... (gospel)
        • 'Feet' pin: ...one at the head, one at the feet (gospel)