The Apostle to the Apostles: Weekly Message for 07-17-2018

Dear Digital Pilgrims in Christ,

As we move into the middle of July with vacations and time spent with family and friends, we should not forget the role we have of “going forth” in our faith to grow and spread the good news of Christ both in small and large ways to those around us. The word “apostle” means to be “sent forth with a command”. In the case of Christianity, an apostle is one who is sent forth to spread the gospel throughout the world. Being an apostle means more than just keeping the faith for ourselves; it means sharing that faith: our experiences, thoughts, feelings, and knowledge of Christ.

During this time in the liturgical year, we are reminded of Mary Magdalene. While some might recall her as the prostitute or notorious woman who had seven demons cast out of her in Luke’s gospel account, Pope Francis calls us to consider the deeper example she provides to us in serving as an “Apostle to the Apostles.” This is the title of Pope Francis’s 2016 letter in which he declares July 22nd as the official feast day of Mary Magdalene. In designating her feast day, Pope Francis invites us to reflect not only on the role of women in the faith, but the role of divine mercy in our lives in conjunction with 2016 being the jubilee year of mercy. Pope Francis writes about the beauty and reality of Christ calling each of us by name to take part in his divine plan.

In John’s gospel account, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden as she weeps after finding the empty tomb. Jesus speaks to her, and calls her by name: “Mary!” he says. She is the first to see and speak with the resurrected Jesus and he instructs her to: “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). So Mary then went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” (Luke 20:18).

RCSpirituality is excited to welcome a new team member to the staff.  Jennifer Ristine, CWRC has been serving in Magdala for the last four years.  She will be bringing her experience of Magdala and knowledge of Mary Magdalene to us in a beautiful book which we will publish later this year.

As we enjoy the month of July and give thanks for time spent with loved ones, let us also remember Mary Magdalene, and look to her as an example of what it looks like to hear the voice of God calling us from our sadness and confusion into the light of truth and purpose in our own lives.

Thank you and God bless you!

With the assurance of my prayers,

Lucy Honner
Director, RCSpirituality

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