S. Mary Magdalene, Penitent| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Mary Magdalene
Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.
Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness.
Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the New Catholic Commentary, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the Jerome Biblical Commentary, agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”
Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."
Today’s Gospel (John 20:1–2, 11–18) shows Mary at first not recognizing the risen Jesus in the garden, then knowing him as he spoke her name. Her great love bursts forth, echoing the First Reading, “I took hold of him and would not let him go” (Song 3:4b). Jesus says, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (John 20:17a). The meaning probably is that there is an entirely new relationship now—a much deeper one, resting in faith rather than the former relationship that was possible because of his visible body. Saint John may also be stressing the fact that Jesus’ exaltation at the right hand of the Father is the completion of the Resurrection.
Mary Magdalene has been a victim of mistaken identity for almost 20 centuries. Yet she would no doubt insist that it makes no difference. We are all sinners in need of the saving power of God, whether our sins have been lurid or not. More importantly, we are all, with her, “unofficial” witnesses of the Resurrection.
Patron Saint of:
Lord, Enlighten Me:
Most high, glorious God, illumine the darkness of my heart. Give me an orthodox faith, persevering hope, and perfect charity. Lord, give me sense and knowledge that I will always do your holy and true command. -St. Francis of Assisi
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Be at peace, for with divine assistance all will work out for your own good, for God's glory, the salvation of souls, and Lucifer's confusion.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 203: The Depth and Breadth of Mercy
Imagine being given the task of counting every grain of sand in the world. It would obviously be an impossible task. In fact, all the people in the world could not accomplish such a task together. Some things are simply beyond us. Another task that would even be more difficult to accomplish is to fully fathom the Mercy of God. This is impossible. The Mercy of God is completely beyond us. Its depths and breadth are infinite. You could spend your whole life contemplating and experiencing the Mercy of God and you would only begin to penetrate the surface. In fact, if every person ever created spent eternity contemplating the Mercy of God, our combined effort would not even suffice to comprehend it. Understanding that the Mercy of God is infinite will enable us to turn to Him no matter our struggle and no matter our sin, trusting in Him with all the powers of our soul (See Diary #1059).
Have you tried to comprehend the Mercy of God? Do you even understand that you can never fully understand this infinite Gift? If you are to trust in our Lord, you must begin this impossible mission of Divine contemplation. It’s what you will do eternally in Heaven. And your Heaven must begin now. Doing so will deepen your ability to trust, and your trust will enable you to surrender. Do not wait, begin this glorious task today.
Lord of Mercy, I thank You for the infinite nature of Your love and for calling me to begin my journey into this unfathomable mystery. Give me the grace to open my eyes so that I may begin to plunge into Your Mercy and in so doing, deepen my trust in You this day. Jesus, I trust in You.