Dear Magdala Family,
In the midst of the pandemic and a thousand vicissitudes, we come to “our” month, the month in which Mary Magdalene’s feast day is celebrated around the world.
For this reason, you will see our Facebook (Magdala and Magdala Español) and YouTube (Experience Magdala) transmissions packed with references to ‘our’ patron Mary Magdalene – ‘Magdalena’.
It never ceases to surprise us how many ordinary folks, people with pure and simple faith – everybody – seem to love Mary Magdalene. Despite the many strange ideas spread around by popular culture about her, she captivates and even disturbs us with her introduction on the Gospel stage, as the one, “from whom seven demons had gone out.” (Luke 8:2)
This passage from the Gospel of Luke, as well as those in Mark’s Gospel about the resurrection, shine a spotlight on the fact that, whatever the cause or consequence of the presence of these seven demons in the life of Mary Magdalene, Jesus released her. Some interpret this in a negative and derogatory sense, but I believe the opposite is true. If Mary’s life is ‘scarred’, it allows us to see two great miracles: the first is that Jesus came into her life and cured her, freed her and gave her back her dignity; the second is that she did her part. St. Augustine said it well when he preached that, “God created us without us, but he did not will to save us without us.” In other words, God asks, seeks and has even wanted to ‘need’ our consent and collaboration to carry out his work in our lives. Thus, we see the passage of this woman from being immersed in the devil’s actions, to becoming a holy woman and striking evangelizer.
That ‘scar’ in Mary Magdalene’s life speaks to us of her enormous merit, and the great mercy of Jesus. May this vision of Mary Magdalene be that which stands out in the grand tradition of the Church who venerates her as a saint, accepts her past whatever it may be, and is committed to her example as a disciple and faithful follower of Christ – the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ – and rightly called the ‘Apostle to the Apostles.’
This is the Mary Magdalene I love! An evangelizing woman. Perhaps for this reason two Evangelists – around the decade of the 50’s or 60’s A.D., when Christianity had spread and the ‘official’ narration of the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth were being collected together – mention Mary Magdalene with so much affection, insistence (12 times… the most referred to woman in the Gospels) and such deference. Was she truly an evangelizer, known throughout the newly Christianized world, just as the four Gospels were taking shape?
Let us ask Mary Magdalene for her intercession during these troubled times and amidst such suffering. She knows the resurrection; she knows the dignity of the restored and honored woman; she knew pure and holy intimacy with Jesus Christ, with the apostles and the other followers of Jesus. She intercedes for us and brings us closer to the divine and luminous mystery whose name is Jesus.
With the assurance of our prayers for each and every one of you, for your families, and for your health, we remain united and in prayer.
Fr. Juan María Solana, LC