The Word of God

Mary Magdalene’s Test

Reflection on Mass Reading for July 22, 2021

Theme for July 2021: Why Does God Test Me?

“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.” Throughout the Gospels nestled within the New Testament, we find various examples of the kind of relationships which Jesus gifted a number of people, including His Mother Mary. If we could say that there are dramatic examples, we could certainly point to the deep and remarkable friendship the Lord had with Mary Magdalene that was essentially coupled with her lasting conversion to the Word. All of life changed substantially for her as she began to live no longer for herself but others. As her Feast Day, today suggests, she embodied the refrain from the Responsorial Psalm: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

“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.'” But the most profound experience of conversion happened within the context of death and hope. Like so many others after the trauma of watching Jesus executed on the cross, Mary Magdalene was left breathless, speechless, and yes, even hopeless. And here we find perhaps the most difficult of all spiritual tests that we must endure as we follow Jesus from the tomb to everlasting life. It is an ongoing test leading up to the final exam when we are set to meet the Lord face to face.

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars. The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” Fyodor Dostoevsky

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