Feast of St Mary Madgalene

Today’s Gospel is from John (20:1-2, 11-18) and, as a Church, today we remember and celebrate the life of St Mary Madgalene.

Mary of Magdala was a Jewish woman, who according to the Gospels travelled with Jesus and his followers.  She was obviously a very important person because she has been mentioned by name twelve times in the Gospels and that’s more than some of the apostles; it is more than any other non-family woman is mentioned; and so from this it seems she held an important place in the followers of Jesus. Magdala may refer to the fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee as the place from which she came.

Fr Paul explains that we know Mary of Magdala assisted in the ministry of Jesus out of her own resources, indicating that she was probably relatively wealthy. We know that in all four Gospels Mary of Magdala is a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus and in three of the Gospels she is also present at the burial of Jesus.  All four Gospels identify her as a member of a larger group of women, including Jesus’ own mother, as the first to witness the empty tomb and the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection.

For our reflection and prayer today we might ask ourselves ‘How can I be like Mary Magdalene in our world today? How can I help with the ministry and mission of Jesus?