Thursday, 21 July 2016

St. Mary Magdalene Sought her Lord

St. Mary Magdalene, Feast Day July 22

St. Mary Magdalene
From the homily on the Gospels by St. Gregory the Great, pope

She longed for Christ, though she thought he had been taken away

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.

Weeping at 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 t 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 love.  

As David says: 
My soul has thirsted for the living God; 
when shall I come and appear before the face of God?  

And also in the Song of Songs the Church says:

I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.

Weeping at the tomb... Jesus asks Why do you weep?

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 recognized when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognize me as I recognize you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. 

And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognizes 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. 

Once addressed by name, Mary recognizes who is speaking and calls him rabboni, teacher

Homily taken from the Liturgy of the Hours