The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
(Song of Songs 3: 1 – 4b; Ps 63: John 20: 1 – 2, 11 – 18)
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what He told her.” St. John does not tell us how she announced this outstanding news so, I believe, we have to use our imagination. Perhaps, she burst into the room and almost shouted, not being able to contain her joy, or perhaps, she entered tearfully and almost in a whisper said, “I have seen the Lord!” – it seemed too good to be true.
However she made that announcement, she would never forget the experience and His calling her by name, Mary; later perhaps she would laugh remembering that she thought he was a gardener. For her, this meeting carried her through the rest of her life – recalling this divine act of love directed to her, pondering it again and again as the Risen Lord drew her more and more into His divine life. In addition to all this, she with His Mother and the other believers would receive Him in the “Breaking of the Bread.”
The Lord, in His most generous love and mercy, provided for this woman, one he healed, not only to see Him but also to receive Him. Today we celebrate the extravagant graces of her life.
Our celebration is unique since each of us can truly identify with her experiences. “I have seen the Lord!” and you, I can say the same. We do see the Lord but in a different form – not face to face as Mary saw Him – we see His Eucharistic Face – in Mass the Consecrated Host and Wine are held for our gaze – when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the monstrance – we look upon His Eucharistic Face – yet it is the same Lord, the Jesus Mary tried to hold. In the “Breaking of the Bread” she received Him, true God and true Man and we do as well, as we will in a few moments.
And the Lord can say to each of us and does say – you have seen Me – you have received Me and it is My most ardent desire that this be so that you live your life as My own, My most beloved brother or sister, My friend. What do I, what do you say to this – rather how do we live in response to this?