One Minute Reflection – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala, Readings: Song of Solomon 3:1-4 or 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, John 20:1-2, 11-18
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). … John 20:15-16
REFLECTION – “When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.
We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the One she had not found and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for Him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ, was the only one to see Him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.
At first she sought but did not find but when she persevered, it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love and again: My soul is melted with love.
Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened, for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.
Jesus says to her – Mary. Jesus is not recognised when He calls her “woman,” so He calls her by name, as though He were saying: Recognise Me as I recognise you, for I do not know you as I know others, I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls Him Rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the One whom she sought outwardly, was the One who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.” … St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor – (Hom. 25, 1-2, 4-5:PL 76, 1189-1193)
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ made Mary of Magdala the first herald of Easter joy. Grant that, following her example and helped by her prayers, we may, in this life, proclaim The living Christ and come to see Him reigning with You in glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, amen.