July 22: Day by Day with Father Bill
FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, APOSTLE TO THE APOSTLES
In June of 2016, Pope Francis declared that the day on which the whole Church remembers St Mary Magdalene would be raised from a Memorial to a Feast. If each of the Twelve Apostles are celebrated with a Feast Day, it is only right that Mary, the Apostle to the Apostles, should be celebrated in the same way. This is to acknowledge her irreplaceable role in the Jesus story as the first witness to His Resurrection.
Recalling the scene in the Garden on the First Easter Sunday when Mary Magdalene is distraught because she believes that someone has stolen the body of the Crucified and Buried Jesus, and she encounters the Risen Jesus but thinks Him to be the gardener, Pope Francis says,
“And [the Risen] Jesus calls her, “Mary!”: the revolution of her life, the revolution destined to transform the life of every man and every woman [and every child] begins with a name which echoes in the garden of the empty sepulchre. The Gospels describe Mary’s happiness. Jesus’ Resurrection is not a joy which is measured with a dropper, but a waterfall that cascades over life. Christian life is not woven of soft joys, but of waves which engulf everything. You too, try to imagine, right now, with the baggage of disappointments and failures that each of us carries in our heart, that there is a God close to us who calls us by name and says to us, “Rise, stop weeping, for I have come to free you!” This is beautiful.
Saint Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, pray for us! Beg Jesus to transform our Holy Church more and more into a place that affirms and celebrates the holiness of all women!
Father Bill +