Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Devotion To Jesus

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark John 20:1

Today is the Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene. Often when we think of her, we think of what she was. But the Church has proclaimed her a saint because of what she became.

This passage from the Gospel shows the intense devotion St. Mary Magdalene had for our Lord. It is indicative of her life after the Lord delivered her from demons and forgave her sins.

We read here that St. Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early, while it was still dark. She could hardly wait to get there. The Jewish Law required that she wait out the full time of the Sabbath. But as soon as that was fulfilled, she went out to the tomb. Though she believed Him to still be dead, she wanted to be close to our Lord. When she found the tomb empty, she ran to tell the apostles. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see the things she had said. When they saw the tomb was indeed empty, they left. But she remained. She stayed even though there was nothing to stay for. She still wanted to be close to the last place she could associate with our Lord.

The Gospel story continues by telling us that St. Mary Magdalene went into the tomb and saw two angels (v.12). For most of us, this would have changed everything. But not for her. She is so grief stricken that even the sight of angels has no effect on her. She is looking only for our Lord. Only when He is finally revealed to her does her sorrow turn to joy. She is so elated at seeing Him that she won't let Him go (v. 17).

St. Mary Magdalene was the first to see our Lord raised from the dead and to proclaim that resurrection to the others. She is the first evangelist. She is blessed with such a privilege because of her great devotion.

I long to have that same level of devotion. Why don't I? Is it because, as our Lord said on another occasion, "Whoever is forgiven much loves much," (Luke 7:47), and I have yet to grasp the depth of sin from which I was delivered? Is it because I am too distracted by the cares and things of this world? Is it because I place more stock in what I can see and understand than in what I cannot see or understand? Is it all of this and more? Yes, I believe it is.

God, grant me such love and devotion. Grant such loyalty and steadfast faith! May we indeed have the love and devotion we see exemplified for us her!

St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

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