JULY 22: ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
The Sinner Turned Saint, Example of a Sincere Contrition, an Unwavering, Faithful and Fearless Love Manifested in Concrete Deeds.
On July 22, we will be celebrating the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, 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!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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