Jul 22 (Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene) 

And near Him I always will be, For nothing can keep me away…He is my destiny! 
I will follow Him…

Ever since He touched my heart, I knew 
There isn’t an ocean too deep, A mountain so high it can keep 

Keep me away, away from His love 

–  Lyrics from the song, “I will follow Him” from the movie “Sister-Act”
Love is a powerful force.

>> Love is stronger even than death! 
The Lord is the greatest lover of our hearts…and He seeks to be loved by us too….

>>He has touched our hearts in some way…and He longs for our response of love!
Today we celebrate the Feast of one such person who deeply loved the Lord – St Mary Magdalene. 

Mary Magdalene is probably most well-known for false details and unproven facts in her life. 
She is also often identified and confused with the other Marys in the Bible…

…. in being a former prostitute

… in being the sinful woman who wiped the feet of Jesus etc

We shall drop short of discussing these scholarly stuff…

>> Instead, let us simply reflect with St Mary Magdalene and seek to grow in Love of the Lover of our Hearts!

One of the unanimous aspects that all agree is the fact that the Bible presents St Mary Magdalene as a woman who loved Jesus intensely and passionately.
She teaches us remarkable things for each one of us to Love the Lord deeper:
1. St Mary Magdalene Followed Him

Luke 8:2 presents Mary Magdalene as having been cured of seven demons. 
Her experience of the Healing of the Lord, made her to Follow Jesus, in His ministry of preaching and healing. 
Am I following the Lord? 
I have experienced the power of the Lord…on many occasions, especially through the Sacraments in the Church 

>> But do I truly follow the Lord?

2. St Mary Magdalene was Persistent to seek Him

The Death of her Lord had rocked Mary Magdalene…

… and she persistently sought, in the tomb where Jesus was laid.
Even though she witnessed an empty tomb, her heart longed to see the Saviour…”so she stayed outside the tomb weeping”(Jn 20:11). 
Am I persistent to seek the Lord? 
I may often have setbacks in my prayer life, work situations & aspirations. 

>> But do I still persist in seeking the Lord? 

3. St Mary Magdalene was Single-hearted in her search for Him

In her search for Jesus, whom she misunderstood as a gardener, Mary Magdalene expresses her sincerity and frankness and single-mindedness :

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” (Jn 20:15)

 

She seeks no empty phrases or consolations…but the Lord alone!  

>> Nothing and none else could suffice her… but the Lord alone!
Am I single-hearted in my search for the Lord? 

I am sometimes content with fleeting pleasures, transitory consolation and momentary comforts in my spiritual life. 

>> Do I rather be single-hearted in my longing for the Lord?

4. St Mary Magdalene was enthusiastic about Him

Once she recognized the ordinary gardener as her Precious Master, Mary Magdalene is enthusiastic and fervent about Him. 

>> Nothing can stop her from proclaiming Him.
In words of St Bernard, “she became an apostle to the Apostles”. 
Am I enthusiastic in my life? 

As a Christian, I have in me the influencing, the powerful and the salvific good news of the Lord. 

>> Am I enthusiastic in sharing about the Lord to others? 

St Mary Magdalene has much to teach us…

… in loving the Lord more honestly and giving ourselves to Him more faithfully!
Let us learn from…

… her committed following of Jesus,

… her persistence in waiting for Jesus

… her single-heartedness in searching for Jesus

… and her enthusiasm in telling others about Jesus. 
St. Mary Magdalene holds a unique place in the history of Jesus. 
The One who rose from the grave of death, appeared first to her…

…  who herself had experienced a rising from the grave of sin!
She was the first to see him alive and the first to hear his voice. 

>> She became the first evangelist in Christian history.
She is the Mourner who turned into a Missionary! 

Let us passionately love the Lord, like St Mary Magdalene… 

… ‘cos there isn’t an ocean too deep, a mountain so high it can keep 

keep us away, away from His love!

Happy Feast of Tender Love and Mercy to all! 

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Manjackal MSFS

  Bengaluru, India

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