Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Feast of St. Mary Magdalene – July 22 – John 20:1-2, 11-18
The Gospel reading from the Mass for The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene is John 20:1-2, 11-18.
In the pre-dawn hours of Easter morning, Mary Magdalene (being of the town of Magdala), who witnessed Christ’s Crucifixion (John 19:25) and burial in the tomb, returns to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body with spices (Luke 24:2); Mary had great devotion for Christ had cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2). Finding the stone rolled away, seeing the tomb empty and thinking Christ’s body has been stolen, Mary runs back to the Upper Room and alerts Peter and John; running to the tomb, they find Christ’s burial cloths and return home beginning to believe.
Mary Magdalene remains alone at the tomb. Weeping, she stoops to look in and finds that two angels have now miraculously appeared. When they ask why she is weeping, Mary, astonishingly unafraid, repeats that she believes Christ’s body has been stolen. Immediately, Mary turns and sees Jesus but does not recognize Him, even when He first speaks. When Mary asks Christ to return His own dead body, Christ calls Mary by name, she immediately recognizes Him as “Rabbouni” (my teacher and master) and falls to the ground, grasping His feet in adoration (Matt 28:9). Mysteriously, Christ orders Mary to stop holding on to Him and instructs her to go and tell the Apostles that He is alive and returning to the Father.
After the Ascension of Christ, tradition holds that St. Mary Magdalene remained with the Christians in Jerusalem for a number of years until she was set adrift in a boat on the Mediterranean without a sail or oars by Jewish leaders who wished to crush Christianity. She came ashore in France and lived for many years, evangelizing many and living in poverty in a cave. St. Mary continues to be venerated at the Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene in St. Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume France and is the patroness of converts, repentant sinners, sexual temptation and women.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ is resurrected from the dead with a glorified body with the mysterious ability to disguise His appearance; He is attended to and commands angels. Divine King, Christ is adored by those who follow Him and issues commands and guides His disciples. Counter to 1st century religious practices which were led by men, Christ first appears to a female.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Marvel at the stunning ability of Christ to disguise His glorified body (CCC 645-646, 659) so that even His close disciples can not recognize Him.
2) Mary Magdalene demonstrates absolute awe and gratitude as she falls on her face and grasps the Risen Christ’s feet. Reflect on the Adoration of Christ (CCC 2096, 2628) and make a commitment to regularly spend time kneeling in adoration of Christ in the presence of the Eucharist.
3) In busyness and distractions of the world, men forget about the powerful champions Christ has given men in the Saints. Renew your understanding of the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and pray for Christ to help you to be strengthened by your patron Saint(s) (CCC 2165, 2156) and those Saints who can help you prevail over your life challenges.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue of the Day – Hope
Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead