The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Piety so he can keep a regular Holy Hour to adore Jesus Christ and by building the Virtue of Religion so he can frequently seek the intercession of the Saints to help him in his daily spiritual battle. 

Liturgy

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene – July 22 – Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

Commentary

In the pre-dawn hours of Easter morning, Mary Magdalene returns to the tomb to complete the burial process by ritually anointing Jesus’ body with spices (Lk 24:2). Finding the stone rolled away, seeing the tomb empty and thinking Jesus’ body has been stolen, Mary runs back to the Upper Room and alerts Peter and John. Peter and John run to the tomb, followed by Mary Magdalene, and confirm Jesus has disappeared, but begin to believe after seeing His mysterious burial cloths left in the tomb; they return to the Upper Room.    

Alone and weeping , Mary Magdalene stoops to look into the tomb and finds two angels have miraculously appeared. When they ask why she is weeping, Mary, unafraid despite the encounter with the supernatural, repeats her belief that the body of Jesus has been stolen. Immediately, Mary turns and sees Jesus but strangely does not recognize Him, thinking Him to be a gardener, even after He speaks to her. When Mary asks Jesus to return His own dead body, He calls Mary by name and she immediately recognizes Him as, “Rabbouni”, meaning “my teacher and master”, and then falls to the ground and grasps His feet in adoration (Mt 28:9). Mysteriously, Jesus orders Mary to stop holding on to Him and commands her to go and tell the Apostles He is alive and is returning to the Father.

After the Ascension of Jesus, tradition holds that St. Mary Magdalene remained with the Christians in Jerusalem for a number of years until she was set adrift in a boat on the Mediterranean without a sail or oars by Jewish leaders who wished to crush Christianity. She came ashore in France and lived for many years, evangelizing and living in poverty in a cave. St. Mary Magdalene continues to be venerated at the Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene in St. Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume France and is the patroness of converts, repentant sinners, sexual temptation, and women.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Joyously consider the way Jesus rewards Mary Magdalene: the perfection of Justice, Jesus rewards the devout Mary Magdalene for her gracious care for His crucified body, appearing to her before the Apostles; the perfection of Compassion, Jesus gradually reveals Himself, perhaps to not terrify Mary, first with angels, then in hiding His identity as a gardener, and finally by calling her name; He allows her to touch His mysterious Glorified Body.

Keep a regular Holy Hour to adore Christ

Realize: Mary Magdalene demonstrates absolute awe and gratitude as she falls on her face and grasps the Risen Christ’s feet in a spectacular act of faith and adoration. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Adoration of Christ (CCC 2096, 2628).

Pray: St. Mary Magdalene, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I am filled with faith, I have a burning desire to praise and glorify God, and I maintain a discipline of regularly taking a Holy Hour in Adoration to be in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 

Seek the intercession of the Saints

Realize: In the Communion of Saints, every Catholic man is blessed to be able to strive to imitate and seek the intercession of the Saints, the greatest human beings who have ever lived. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and Patron Saints (CCC 2156, 2165).

Pray: St. Mary Magdalene, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so I honor the Saints and I develop a veneration for those Saints who can help in my own particular struggles in the Spiritual Combat.