Today is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The first reading is for Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time. The children of Israel are having some second thoughts about leaving Egypt. No wonder, I think, since most of us fear change and the unknown. The Gospel is from John 20. It is the story of Mary’s meeting with Jesus after the resurrection. She was the first person to actually see the risen Lord, though she didn’t recognize him at first.
There has been much conjecture about Mary Magdalene down through the ages. Many say that she was the woman caught in adultery, the story where Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” We don’t really know her identity. In The DaVinci Code, she was supposedly married to Jesus and had a child with him. We can safely do away with that one. Was she a prostitute? An adulterer? A harlot? All we really know is that she was a sinner. She was also a woman filled with love for Christ. She is a great example for those of us who are also great sinners. Sainthood is always within our grasp.
Mary Magdalene’s love was borne of gratefulness. Jesus said, “The one whom much is forgiven loves much.” She found in Jesus someone who did not judge her for her past. Someone who saw through all the baggage of sin and loved the person. Jesus was all she was ever looking for. Is He also that to us?
Father, Mary was forgiven much, and so she loved much. We know that we, too, have been forgiven much. Help us to love much. Amen.