St Mary Magdalene : Wednesday 22nd July 2020

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St Mary Magdalene,
Apostle of the Apostles (Apostolorum apostola)

St Mary Magdalene : Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Songs 3:1-4a or 2 Cor. 5:14-17;
Ps. 62:2-4,5-6,8-9; Jn. 20:1-2,11-18 (Ps Wk IV)

Mary Magdalene is a mysterious figure, and there is much speculation about her, not all of it very realistic.

The Gospels affirm very little about her. Along with other women, some of whom had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, she followed Jesus, presumably because he had cured her of some affliction described as possession by seven devils (Lk. 8:1-3).

Nothing suggests that Mary Magdelene was a prostitute. Her story is confused with the woman in Luke 7:36-50, who “had a bad name in the town”. There is nothing that compels us to think of this woman as Mary Magdalene or as a prostitute either.

She was present with other women at the crucifixion of Jesus (Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:56). John 19:25 puts her standing by the cross of Jesus with Jesus’ mother and two or three other women. She went to Jesus’ tomb, apparently with some of the other women and found the tomb empty.

John pays special attention to Jesus’ appearance to her. Jesus called her by her name before she could recognise him in his risen state, implicitly fulfilling a word of Isaiah: “I have called you by your name, and you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).

Lord, You have called us by name at our creation, and we are Yours: we thank You and praise You.

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