“Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:18)
Today we celebrate the life of Saint Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus Christ after his resurrection and she was the one who delivered the Good News to the apostles. This alone makes her a name to be reckoned with as far as Christianity is concerned.
Mary Magdalene was most probably a convert who, together with other women, assisted Jesus and his disciples and attended to their needs. Some scholars also believe that it was from her that Jesus cast out seven demons while others would say that she was the one who poured expensive oil on the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair.
When Jesus gave the parable of the Sower, Mary Magdalene represents the seed that fell on very good soil and yielded a hundred-fold. Mary Magdalene literally gave her life to Christ after her conversion. She became an apostle to the apostles. She represents that truth that for God, it is not your past but your potential that matter. Like St. Paul who was once Saul, Mary Magdalene’s life shows us that God can work through anybody.
Our first reading today comes from the Song of Solomon, a book in the Bible that speaks about spousal love. When the others deserted Jesus at his arrest and crucifixion, Mary Magdalene was one of those who stood beside the cross. When others thought it was over and were moving on with their lives, Mary Magdalene, out of love came back to the tomb very early on that Sunday morning.
There is a saying: “you would know how much you are loved when you consider how quickly people forget you after your death.” Mary Magdalene wasn’t going to forget Jesus in a hurry. When she recognised Jesus, she used a personal name for Jesus “Rabonni!” which means “Teacher”. The questions we should all ask ourselves is: “Do I have such a personal relationship with Jesus?” “Am I a friend or simply a client?
The difference between clients and friends is this: clients can never be satisfied, they are always grumbling and complaining! But friends would stick with you in good times and in bad times. Clients are ready to end the relationship if service is interrupted and move on but friends value the relationship more than the service. Client-minded Christians worship God for the sake of benefits but Christians who have a personal relationship with God worship Him regardless of benefits. Am I a friend to Jesus?
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, open my heart to love you more as a friend than anything else. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Song of Songs 3:1-4, Ps. 63:2-6,8-9, John 20:1-2,11-18).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu