Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (20: 1-2, 11-18) in which tells of Mary Magdalene’s visit to the tomb of Jesus where she saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about St Mary of Magdala, whose memorial we celebrate today.
Fr Paul says, Mary of Magdala was healed of ‘seven devils’ by Jesus. Mary ministered to him in Galilee. She was present at his crucifixion. As we hear in the Gospel, she was in the group of women who were the first to discover the empty tomb, and it was to her that the risen Jesus first appeared.
The Western tradition is that Mary Magdalene is also ‘the woman who was a sinner’ and the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany. There is no real evidence either way and this kind of confusion is inevitable in religions, such as Christianity.
Even without the confusion, Mary Magdalene is a unique and important character in the story of the Resurrection, chosen by Christ as one of the first witnesses of the event that has changed the world.
So today, Fr Paul invites us to ask ‘St Mary of Magdala…pray for us!’