Daily Reflection for Thursday, July 22, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: CLICK HERE
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Songs 3:1-4b OR 2 For 5:14-17
Responsorial: Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings from the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene:
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God. Psalm 63:2
Mary Magdalene is a mysterious and sometimes controversial figure in the history of Christianity. Some accounts describe her as an adulteress, a prostitute, and, in recent popular culture, even the wife of Jesus. However, none of these stand up to biblical scrutiny and are merely conjecture.* Biblical accounts describe Jesus expelling seven demons from Mary who then entered into a life of devotion to Christ and participated in his ministry even following the Resurrection which is described in today’s Gospel.
It’s easy to get caught up in the politics and controversy over her role in the early Church, but I think that sometimes overshadows what she really represents here. She was a soul lost in the world, plagued by demons, and seeking something greater. She found that in Christ and never looked back. In a sense, Mary is a stand-in for all of us.
Lately I feel like I have been going through the motions in regard to my faith life. The world has distracted me from what is most important. Like Mary, I, too, feel that at times I am plagued by demons. Mine are not like those in The Exorcist, but they are of my own making—laziness, selfishness, and greed. This is actually a bit scarier to me because they are so common and that makes them easy to overlook. Like Mary, I need Christ’s help in expelling these demons. Like the narrator in the first two readings, I long for God just as Mary clearly did. The Church holds her up and celebrates her as an example to us today. She was a woman suffering from the sins of her life who chose the life of a disciple.
We are being reminded that we are called to follow her lead. God reaches out offering us water in our desert, “the riches of a banquet,” and ultimately the life of His own son. Yet we must “no longer live for ourselves, but for him who for our sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
Today I pray that all of those who struggle and long for God’s strength, like Mary Magdalene, might find it and carry on the mission of delivering God’s mercy to a world that thirsts for peace and love.
Peace and blessings,
* See Fr. William Saunders “Who Really Was Mary Magdalene?” Arlington Catholic Herald July 22, 2004