Dear friends in Christ,
This Saturday, the church keeps the major feast of Mary Magdalene. She is rightly commemorated with the same importance as the other apostles who knew Jesus. Mary Magdalene is, after all, the apostle to the apostles.
It was Mary Magdalene who proclaimed the glad news of Jesus’ resurrection to the disciples. She is the first person to share the most important news in the entire history of the world. Her message must have been startling: “I have seen the Lord.”
I could write thousands of words on what we can learn as individuals and as a church from the commemoration of Mary Magdalene and the assigned readings. Here are a few quick lessons:
- The scriptures clearly affirm the effectiveness, the giftedness, and the importance of women leaders in the church.
- Sometimes we will have to look outside the “official channels” for Good News. God didn’t choose one of the members of the inner circle—Peter, James, and John—for the task of proclaiming the resurrection. Sometimes the inner circle needs to be told what’s what!
- Mary has her quite understandable doubts and confusion, but she’s ready to believe when she sees Jesus. We too may have our doubts and confusion, but let us never delay in proclaiming the Good News when we see Jesus. And, let’s be clear, we do see Jesus. He has promised that he is present when the church gathers, and he has promised that he is present in the sacraments he gave us. He is here. We have seen the Lord.
Sometimes we overthink it. We do well to emulate the apostle to the apostles. When we are unsure, let us rush to where to we might find Jesus and then be eager to run to others and say that we have seen him.
And let us be ready to look at how our church is organized and realize that the inner circle is often going to need a surprising herald of grace to speak the truth. And we can all urge our church leaders, especially our bishops, to see themselves as apostles with Good News to proclaim, not as middle managers with assets to keep.
There is Good News that we must urgently share! Sin is defeated. Death is put to flight. Jesus lives.
Can we all say it now with Mary Magdalene? “I have seen the Lord!”
More from our ministry:
Pray with Mary Magdalene and other women of scripture: Bible Women
From the Grow Christians archive: Mary Magdalene’s bold hope in the resurrection
Pre-order today: A Journey through Genesis
Meet Jesus in the sacraments: Gifts of God for the People of God