Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary of Magdalene It is a wonderful day! Pope Francis has proclaimed that her memorial to a feast day.
Just imagine the courage and strength she had. Mary of Magdela went to the tomb of Jesus while it was still dark – and she was alone. This was quite a significant action to do because she feared the Roman soldiers. She looked into the tomb and saw it was empty. Jesus was not there. She stayed outside of the tomb weeping in desperation.
She looked again into the tomb and then saw two angels dressed in white. They conversed with her and asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “They (the Romans) have taken him away and I do not know where he is.”
Can you imagine yourself talking to two angels dressed in white? I never have talked to angels in my whole lifetime. Mary Magdela did not run away, scream, or faint.
She suddenly sensed that someone, or some holy person was standing close by. She did not physically recognize him. She asked this person, the (gardener) if he knew where Jesus was because she wanted to take care of his body.
Suddenly, the “gardener” said her name MARY.
She knew, she was positive, she absolutely knew that this was Jesus. Something had happened, that this was Jesus, the Savior.
She knew, she knew, she knew!!
She answered “Rabbouni” which means Teacher
Her joy must have been so overwhelming that she did not want to let him go!
Then Jesus told her to go tell the others that I am Risen and am going to my Father/Mother.
She ran to the disciples and told them that I have seen the Lord!
From other accounts, we knew that the disciples did not believe her and ran to the empty tomb to see for themselves. The men did not see Jesus. They were too late and out of breath.
Courage – Bravery – Great love – and wisdom are some of the adjectives we can describe Mary of Magdalene.
The Gospel reading gives me great hope. Jesus believed in women and cared and cares about women. Women friends in ministry read and reread this Gospel. We have not been always treated with love, compassion, and a sense of welcome in the church. There is a long, long way to go.
This story of Mary Magdelene must remind all of us women and men to be courageous in all things that are right. We must be courageous in making decisions to go forth with certain actions that seem clear that Jesus would want us to do.
There are many issues in the world where clear directions are not coming our way. What should we do?
I believe we should have the courage to listen, see, and do what seems right as we reflect and pray about what Jesus would ask us to do. This sometimes means taking bold actions with fearless courage to do something rather than just pray. If we believe our actions are following the tenents of Jesus, make sense, and are not hurting others, we must act!!
Any actions we take, if motivated by love of others and the messages of Jesus, will take real courage.
Jesus welcomes us to love forward with hope and optimism. Living the life Jesus is not for the faint of heart.
Others will support you and Jesus will always be with you!