Friday, July 22, 2016

Holding On To Me

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 t


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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:



Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-07-21


The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God around me,
in every part of my body,
and deep within my being.


Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.


Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence.
Teach me to recognise your presence in others.
Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

The Word of God

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lectionary: 603
Reading 1

SGS 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.
2 cor 5:14-17

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 Psalm
Ps 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.

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.


Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

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.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

What are the secrets of the Kingdom of God? To know the Lord Jesus personally, to understand his work of salvation on the cross, and to realise that we are infinitely loved. What a privilege it is to know these things!
How blessed I am to have the Holy Scriptures. But as Jesus speaks to me right now, am I listening to him? Am I open to his Word or do I sit with fingers in my ears?


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
May I respond to your call today.
Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: John 20:1-2, 11-18

Saint Mary Magdalene (Memorial)

Mary! (John 20:16)

Think of someone who loves you a lot—your spouse, your mother, or a dear friend. Think of how they say your name. Is it tender? Playful? Do they use a nickname? No matter how seldom or often you see this person, the way they call your name shows you that you matter to them; you have a place in their heart. Their voice tells you that you are cared for and known.

Maybe that's how Mary Magdalene felt when Jesus called her outside the tomb. Something about his voice wrapping itself around her name filled her heart with joy. It was his voice—speaking her name—that finally enabled Mary to see that the person she had thought was the gardener was really Jesus, her teacher and her friend. With just that one word, "Mary," Jesus changed the dynamic of their relationship. No longer was he just her "Rabbouni." Now she saw him as "the Lord" (John 20:16, 18).

In his parable of the good shepherd, Jesus says, "The sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice" (John 10:4). This was definitely true of Mary Magdalene. Hearing Jesus call her name convinced her that he had risen from the dead. It gave her the courage to tell the apostles that she had seen him. It gave her the strength to persist in her story, even though many of them didn't believe her (Luke 24:11).

Take a moment right now, and tell Jesus that you want to hear his voice more clearly. Then spend a little time using your imagination. Imagine Jesus standing before you, his eyes fixed on you. Listen as he speaks your name. What does his voice sound like? Maybe it's excited or gentle or calm or compassionate.

Let his voice penetrate your heart. Just as it did for Mary, let it help you see yourself in a new light. Let it wash away any guilt or shame you may be feeling. Let it speak to your deepest hopes and dreams. Let it fill you with confidence that Jesus, your teacher and Lord, is risen and is calling you to his side.

"Jesus, open the ears of my heart so that I can recognize your voice."

Jeremiah 3:14-17
(Psalm) Jeremiah 31:10-13




From Today's 1st Holy Scripture "Have you seen him whom my heart loves?"
and then "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"

We pray the Holy Psalms " My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God." Mary Magdalene seeking God, is our lives seeking God, until we find Him. We pray on "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."

In comes the Lord of our God, and He is not recognized, never recognized until a pivotal moment, and in this moment, He says a familiar name that touches and moves the heart to recognize Him, and He says "My Child" and then He says something to us very important, physically, spiritually, theologically, and most importantly, lovingly, when He says "stop holding on to me". Let me go. Let me go and do what I have to do. First, to the cross. Second, to the Father. And this is the order, first the cross to the Father. Because we can not be a Christian without a cross. Because when we find happiness and security, we don't want to let it go. Sinful things make people happy. Let it go. Securities on earth make you feel secure, let them go. Let your only life be Jesus.

Today we are into the first 24 hours of a cursillo for men. Today, it is the day I was born in the Spirit of God when I was baptized this day, the very day of Saint Mary Magdalene, who had been healed, who perhaps was a sinner, but she was saved of so many devils, demons, evil spirits. This is why she clung to Him, afraid to ever let go and go back. She clung to salvation, to the rock, to the fountain of her life. The same is for a saved soul that appreciates the body of Christ. I ask for your prayers. You are an important part of my life My Child. You are on an intimate named basis with our Lord. He hears you when your back is not turned to Him. Mary shows us a most important way to see Christ and recognize Him in our lives. This is what I ask for prayers the cursillo, to simply recognize what, that is who, was there all along. We mistake the Lord for the gardener, that person who tends the garden, Adam. But He already is the new Adam, the new atom that forms our bodies is Him in us all. God is in our DNA. This is why we seek Him, and if we seek Him with all our hearts like Mary Magdalene, we will recognize Him and never want to let Him go.

This is a most phenomenal experience. To suddenly realize, we were never alone, and more awaits us.........