Thứ Sáu, 21 tháng 7, 2017

JULY 22, 2017 : FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lectionary: 603

Reading 1SGS 3:1-4B
The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves–
I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves.
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen came upon me,
as they made their rounds of the city:
Have you seen him whom my heart loves?
I had hardly left them
when I found him whom my heart loves.

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.

Responsorial PsalmPS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
R. (2) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the way?
I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don't know where they put him." 

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "They have taken my Lord,
and I don't know where they laid him."
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
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 Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
"I have seen the Lord,"
and then reported what he told her.


Meditation: "I have seen the Lord!"
Do you recognize the presence of the Lord Jesus when you hear his word? How easy it is to miss the Lord Jesus when our focus is on ourselves! Mary Magdalene did not at first recognize the Lord because her focus was on the empty tomb and on her own grief. It took only one word from the Master, when he called her by name, for Mary to recognize him. 
The Risen Lord Jesus reveals himself to us as we listen to his word
Mary Magdalene's message to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, is the very essence of Christianity. It is not enough that a Christian know about the Lord, but that we know him personally. It is not enough to argue about him, but to meet him. In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord Jesus who loves us personally and shares his glory with us. The Lord Jesus gives us "eyes of faith" to see the truth of his resurrection and his victory over sin and death (Ephesians 1:18). And he opens our ears to recognize his voice as we listen to the "good news" proclaimed in the Gospel message today.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our hope - the hope that we, too, who believe in him will see the living God face to face and share in his everlasting glory and joy. "Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.  As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:8-9). Do you recognize the Lord's presence with you, in his word, in the "breaking of the bread," and in his church, the body of Christ?
"Lord Jesus, may I never fail to recognize your voice nor lose sight of your presence as you open the Scriptures for me and speak your life-giving word."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe love of Christ enflamed her, by Gregory the Great (540-604 AD)
"Mary Magdalene, who had been a sinner in the city (Luke 7:37), loved the Truth and so washed away with her tears the stains of wickedness (Luke 7:47). Her sins had kept her cold, but afterward she burned with an irresistible love... We must consider this woman's state of mind whose great force of love inflamed her. When even the disciples departed from the sepulcher, she did not depart. She looked for him whom she had not found... But it is not enough for a lover to have looked once, because the force of love intensifies the effort of the search. She looked for him a first time and found nothing. She persevered in seeking, and that is why she found him. As her unfulfilled desires increased, they took possession of what they found (Song of Songs 3:1-4)... Holy desires, as I have told you before, increase by delay in their fulfillment. If delay causes them to fail, they were not desires... This was Mary's kind of love as she turned a second time to the sepulcher she had already looked into. Let us see the result of her search, which had been redoubled by the power of love." (excerpt from FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 25)

SATURDAY, JULY 22, JOHN 20:1-2, 11-18
(Exodus 12:37-42; Psalm 136)

KEY VERSE: "I have seen the Lord" (v.18).
TO KNOW: Mary Magdalene came from the town of "Magdala" on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. She was a devoted disciple of Jesus, and one of the women who ministered to Jesus "out of their resources" (Lk 8:2). Luke tells the story of an exorcism performed on Mary, which cast out seven demons (perhaps physical, mental or spiritual maladies). Mary accompanied Jesus on his last journey to Jerusalem (Matt 27:55; Mk 15:41; Lk 23:55), witnessed the crucifixion, and was the first witness of his resurrection. John tells us that at dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday) Mary Magdalene came to the sepulcher and found it empty. She ran to tell Peter and John, and then returned to the tomb and remained there weeping. When Jesus appeared to her, at first she did not recognize him, but when he spoke her name she cried, "Rabboni" (Hebrew, "Master" or "Teacher"). She wanted to cling to Jesus but he forbade her, telling her to go to his brothers and say to them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (Jn 20:17). After Jesus' ascension (Acts 1:14), she returned to Jerusalem, and was probably among the group of women who joined the Apostles in the Upper Room. Pope Francis raised the July 22 memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to a feast on the church's liturgical calendar.
TO LOVE: Do I give testimony to the Risen Lord in my life?
TO SERVE: St. Mary of Magdalene, help me to recognize our Savior in my sorrows and in my joys.

Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was a significant leader of early Christianity, but many false ideas about her persist today. Early church fathers incorrectly identified her with the sinful woman who anointed Christ's feet at the house of Simon the Pharisee, but there is nothing in the Bible to support this view and much to dispute it. Others wrongly believed she was Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus. The Bible gives us clues about her importance. According to the Gospel of John, after Jesus’ resurrection, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene and not to Peter. The popular hymn, "I Come to the Garden," was inspired by the story. In other scriptures, her name is first in the list of witnesses (Mk. 16:1-11; Mt. 28:1; Lk. 24:10; Jn. 20:11-18; 1 Cor. 15:5-8). One tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that following the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by Emperor Tiberius Caesar. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed "Christ is risen!" Caesar laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red. Before he finished speaking, the egg turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house. The Eastern Orthodox Church maintains that Mary Magdalene retired to Ephesus with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and died there. Her relics were transferred to Constantinople in 886 where they are preserved. Mary is called "The Apostle to the Apostles," and a "true and authentic evangelizer."

Saturday 22 July 2017

St Mary Magdalene.
Exodus 12:37-42. Psalm 135(136):1, 10-15, 23-24. Matthew 12:14-21.
His love is everlasting — Psalm 135(136):1, 10-15, 23-24.
‘And in his name the nations will put their hope.’
Lord, your word today is so encouraging. Thank you for a gentle reminder that your love is everlasting so that we trust in you no matter what happens. You brought your people safely out of Egypt after a night of prayer.
Although we constantly give thanks for your everlasting love we need to do more. Let us pray with love and trust, listen to you, and then go on to live life with you and in your way. If we honestly look we will see how often you ‘bring us out of Egypt’ in safety. Thank you for your everlasting love and help.

ST. MARY MAGDALENE

On July 22, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary Magdelene, one of the most prominent women mentioned in the New Testament.
Her name comes from the town of Magdala in Galilee, where she originated. Scripture introduces her as a woman “who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out” (Lk. 8:2).
Some scholars identify Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Christ with oil in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lk. 7:36-50). Others associate her with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Lk. 10:38-42, Jn. 11). Some believe the three figures to be one person, while others believe them to be three distinct individuals.
What the Scriptures make certain about Mary Magdalene is that she was a follower of Christ, who accompanied and ministered to him (Lk. 8:2-3). The Gospels record her as being one of the women present at Christ’s crucifixion.
In addition, she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection. The Gospels all describe Mary Magdalene going to the tomb on Easter morning. When she saw that the tomb was empty, she stood outside, weeping. Jesus appeared to her and asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” (Jn. 20:15)
She did not recognize him, however, and thought he was the gardener, until he said her name, “Mary!” (Jn. 20:16) Upon hearing this, Mary recognized him. She returned to the grieving disciples to announce to them the message of the Resurrection.
Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Mary Magdalene in his address before the Angelus on July 23, 2006. He referred to her as “a disciple of the Lord who plays a lead role in the Gospels.”
The Pope recalled Mary Magdalene’s presence “beneath the Cross” on Good Friday, as well as how “she was to be the one to discover the empty tomb” on Easter morning.
“The story of Mary of Magdala reminds us all of a fundamental truth,” Pope Benedict said. “A disciple of Christ is one who, in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him and has set out following closely after him, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love that is stronger than sin and death.”

On June 10, 2016, the liturgical celebration honoring St. Mary Magdalene was raisedfrom a memorial to a feast, putting her on par with the apostles.


LECTIO DIVINA: SAINT MARY MAGDALENE
Lectio Divina: 
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Lord,
be merciful to your people.
Fill us with your gifts
and make us always eager to serve you
in faith, hope and love.
You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - John 20,1-2.11-18
It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb
Mary was standing outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, as she wept, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she replied, 'and I don't know where they have put him.'
As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.'
Jesus said, 'Mary!' She turned round then and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbuni!' -- which means Master. Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' So Mary of Magdala told the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and that he had said these things to her.

3) Reflection
• The Gospel today presents the apparition of Jesus to Mary Magdalene, whose feast we celebrate today. The death of Jesus, her great friend, makes her lose the sense of life. But she does not cease to look for him. She goes to the tomb to encounter anew the one whom death had stolen. There are moments in life in which everything crumbles down. It seems that everything has come to an end. Death, disasters, pain, disillusionments, betrayals! There are so many things that can make one lose the earth under our feet and produce in us a profound crisis. But something diverse can also take place. Unexpectedly, the encounter with a friend can give us back the sense of life and make us discover that love is stronger than death and than defeat. In the way in which the apparition of Jesus to Mary Magdalene is described we distinguish the stages followed, from the painful seeking for the dead friend to the encounter of the risen Lord. These are also the stages that we all follow, along our life, seeking God and in living out the Gospel. It is the process of death and of resurrection which is prolonged day after day.
• John 20,1: Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb. There was a profound love between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. She was one of the few persons who had the courage to remain with Jesus until the hour of his death on the Cross. After the obligatory rest of the Sabbath, she returned to the tomb, to be in the place where she had met the Beloved for the last time. But, to her great surprise, the tomb was empty!
• John 20,11-13: Mary Magdalene weeps, but seeks. As she wept, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. The angels asked: “Why are you weeping?” Response: “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” Mary Magdalene looks for the Jesus she had known, the same one with whom she had lived during three years.
• John 20,14-15: Mary Magdalene speaks with Jesus without recognizing him; the Disciples of Emmaus saw Jesus, but they did not recognize him (Lk 24,15-16). The same thing happens to Mary Magdalene. She sees Jesus, but does not recognize him. She thinks that it is the gardener. Jesus also asks, like the angels had done: “Why are you weeping?” And he adds “Who are you looking for?” Response: “If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him!” She is still looking for the Jesus of the past, the same one of three days before. The image of the past prevents her from recognizing the living Jesus, who is standing in front of her.
• John 20,16: Mary Magdalene recognizes Jesus. Jesus pronounces the name “Mary!” (Miriam). This is the sign of recognition: the same voice, the same way of pronouncing the name. She answers “Master!” (Rabbuni). Jesus turns. The first impression is that death has been only a painful accident on the way, but that now everything has turned back as it was in the beginning. Mary embraces Jesus intensely. He was the same Jesus who had died on the cross, the same one whom she had known and loved. Here takes place what Jesus had said in the Parable of the Good Shepherd: “He calls his by name and they know his voice”. “I know my sheep and my sheep know me!” (Jn 10,2.4.14).
• John 20,17: Mary Magdalene receives the mission to announce the resurrection to the Apostles. In fact, it is the same Jesus, but the way of being with her is not the same. Jesus tells her: “Do not cling to me because I have not yet ascended to the Father!” Jesus is going to be together with the Father. Mary Magdalene should not cling to him, but she has to assume her mission: “But go and find my brothers and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father”. He calls the disciples “my brothers”. Ascending to the Father Jesus opens the way for us so that we can be close to God. “I want them to be with me where I am” (Jn 17,24; 14,3).
• John 20,18: The dignity and the mission of Magdalene and of the women. Mary Magdalene is called the disciple of Jesus (Lk 8,1-2); witness of his crucifixion (Mk 15,40-41; Mt 27,55-56; Jn 19, 25), of his burial (Mk 15, 47; Lk 23, 55; Mt 27, 61), and of his resurrection (Mk 16,1-8; Mt 28,1-10; Jn 20,1.11-18). And now she receives the order, she is ordered to go to the Twelve and to announce to them that Jesus is alive. Without this Good News of the Resurrection, the seven lamps of the Sacraments would extinguish (Mt 28,10); Jn 20,17-18).

4) Personal questions
• Have you ever had an experience that has produced in you an impression of loss and of death? What has given you new life and the hope and joy of living?
• Mary Magdalene looked for Jesus in a certain way and found him again in another way. How does this take place in our life today?

5) Concluding Prayer
God, you are my God, I pine for you;
My heart thirsts for you,
My body longs for you,
As a land parched, dreary and waterless. (Ps 63,1)