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“I Have Seen the Lord”
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Disciple of the Lord
John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
Opening Prayer: Jesus, I have seen you in the Eucharist. I have seen you in other people. I have seen you in your creation. I have heard you in prayer and in the Word. Help me to encounter you in all the ways you reveal yourself and then share you with others.
- First Things First: Notice how St. Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week, even while it was still dark! Her ardent faith is an example for us as Christian disciples. Like her, we are called to put first things first and “wake up early” to love and serve the Lord, even while it is still dark outside: “It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).
- Longing for God: St. Mary Magdalene had a longing in her heart to be near Jesus. This is why she went to the tomb as soon as she could after the Sabbath. Notice that she ran to tell the Apostles that Jesus was gone, and then she immediately went back to the tomb. She needed to be there with Jesus, or at least where she thought he should be. What a beautiful example of faithful devotion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” (CCC 27). May we, like St. Mary Magdalene, possess the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, and never stop searching for Our Lord.
- Apostle of the Apostles: St. Thomas Aquinas called St. Mary Magdalene “apostolorum apostola,” the Apostle of the Apostles. She was the first to witness the empty tomb, the first to see Christ resurrected, and first to tell of his Resurrection to the Apostles. Christ sent her on her first mission: “…go to my brothers and tell them…” We can ask ourselves if we listen to Christ’s call to tell others the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection. How can we participate in apostolic initiatives that lead others to become Christ’s disciples?
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, please bless me with a faithful, hopeful, loving heart like St. Mary Magdalene’s. Like her, rightly order my desires so that I seek to be close to you at all times. Help me to imitate her virtues of loyalty, obedience, and piety. Fill me with purpose and joy as I seek to witness to you in my daily life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will rededicate myself to be a missionary disciple, called to encounter Christ personally, and to be a joyful witness to the Gospel.
For Further Reflection: Read this bulletin from the Holy See’s Press Office on Mary Magdalene, Apostle of the Apostles. Also, check out these resources on Living as Missionary Disciples from the USCCB website.
Written by Carey Boyzuck.