Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles

Mary Magdalen and the other Mary
came to see the Lord's tomb, alleluia.
Antiphon1, Vespers, Easter

Jesus said, "Do not be afraid.
Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee;
there they will see me", alleluia.
Antiophon 3, Vespers, Easter

Mary Magdalen is my favorite among those who gathered around Jesus. I entered contemplative life on July 22nd, her feast day. This is the name of my baptismal godmother. And in one of our foundresses mystical colloquies with Jesus he said, "You shall perform the office of Magdalen in holy contemplation." Therefore when I professed first vows I took the religious name Hildegard Magdalen of the Resurrection.

It just tickles me that her name appears over and over again in the Offices of the Easter Octave and in the Gospels of the week. Scholars conclude that she was very important within the earliest Christian community and was held in great esteem. Jesus himself commissioned her to "go and tell my brothers.....” Thus she may be called apostle to the apostles.

Mary of Magdala supported him in his preaching. She was present in his agony. She was there at his entombment. She courageously led a group of women to the tomb to lovingly anoint his body. Jesus called her by name in the garden. He commissioned her to perform a precious task. She is a woman to be considered and emulated.

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