July 22, 2016

Mary Magdalene

July 22, 2016:  St. Mary Magdalene

See 12 connections with today?
Legend at bottom
Love is at the service of others
The next word Paul uses is chrestéuetai, its only use in the Bible, derived from chrestós (good, showing goodness in deed).  It complements the preceding verb:  “patience” isn't completely passive but accompanied by activity, dynamic and creative interaction.  Love benefits and helps others; 
chrestéuetai is translated as 'kind.'
Love is more than a feeling; it should be understood as the Hebrew verb “to love,” “to do good.”  “Love is shown more by deeds than by words.”  It shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the grandeur of spending ourselves for the pleasure of giving and serving.  (IV:93-94)
  • 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.
  • Ps 63:2-9  "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God."  I seek You.  Your kindness is a greater good than life; I'll glorify you.  I'll praise you, call on your name, and be satisfied.  Your right hand upholds me.
    Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena/ Ivanov
  • 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 / Mary:  “Why are you weeping?” / “They've taken my Lord.”  Then she saw Jesus but didn't recognize him.  Jesus / Mary (thinking he was the gardener):  “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” and reported what he told her.
    • Creighton:  Mary of Magdala has been confused with the “sinful woman,” presumably a prostitute, who anointed Jesus’ feet.  Luke named Mary as the woman from whom Jesus drove seven demons.  Knowing that illnesses were then ascribed to demonic possession, maybe Mary of Magdala had a serious illness he healed.  The gospels attest to Mary supporting Jesus' preaching out of her personal wealth.  The poetry of the 1st reading describes the lover drawn to the beloved, but who must search for him in prayer, service, suffering, and wisdom.  The alternate 1st reading invites us to meditate on the New Creation brought about by Jesus’ death and resurrection.  The Gospel invites us into the moment of recognition:  grieving Mary went to Jesus' tomb to cleanse his body and thinks someone took it, another indignity to the one who restored her dignity.  She looks into the cave and sees two figures with a third approaching her, likely gardeners, or those who stole the body, which she offers to rescue.  When the one behind her calls her name, she recognizes him and turns to grasp him, but he says "No; I haven’t finished my mission."  Mary's path is covered in moments from her suffering and loss to recognition of the new reality and her mission.  There's great joy in belonging to Christ; all other love finds energy and fulfillment in that love.

    • One Bread, One Body:  "Perseverance":  Mary Magdalene's loved Jesus intensely; she received the Spirit's gift of love through her perseverance.  When Jesus' disciples abandoned Him, Mary Magdalene persevered.  When everyone else left his tomb, she persevered and was the first to meet the risen Christ. When she recognized him, she clung to him till Jesus asked her not to.  May we persevere....
    • Passionist:  We know little of Mary from the scriptures.  She's often confused with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus or with the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.   The tradition began that Mary was a repentant sinner, but the scriptures don't substantiate that interpretation.  We see the 1st reading's search for the beloved in the gospel references to Mary.  She comes to know the Lord and his preaching, discovers her love of God, accompanies Jesus in his preaching tours to listen, deepen her love, influence others in a positive way, and help care for him.  Having found her beloved, Mary remained faithful through his arrest, torture, crucifixion, death, and burial, standing with him under the cross.  She helps prepare his body for burial and mourns his death with his mother.  Today’s gospel recounts the moment her beloved is restored to her.  Mary, first to hear “He is risen,” is overjoyed and rushes to embrace him; he stops her to prepare her to follow him in faith as she had in life.  Her faith became firm and she became Apostle to the Apostles, the first the Lord sent to announce the Good News to the other apostles.  She's a woman of great love and desire to stand by the Lord, and a disciple of unwavering loyalty, dedication, and faith.
    • 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' tie bar:  I sought, didn't find, then found, him whom my heart loves (1st 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)
    • 'Hand' tie pin, 'phone' tie bar:  "I'll lift my hands and call your name"; "your right hand upholds me" (psalm)
    • Two 'angel' pins:  She saw two angels sitting at the tomb (gospel); people ate the bread of angels (psalm); "in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy" (psalm)

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