Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene - July 22

“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.” (John 20: 15-18. NAB)

Today was the Feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, also known as Mary of Magdala. Of the women of the Gospel, she is the one who has received a bum rap. It was Pope Gregory the Great, in a homily he preached in 591 A.D., who implied that Mary of Magdala was a repentant prostitute. Most scholars agree that there is no scriptural proof to that assertion, that Mary was an early and significant disciple of Jesus.

There are many in the Catholic community who want to raise the importance of Mary of Magdala in the life of the Church; promoting a title given her “Apostle to the Apostles,” because she proclaimed the good news of the Resurrection to the other disciples. They hope that by doing so, the status of women in the Church will improve.
Image by Robert Lentz

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