Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
Song of Songs 3:1-4
John 20:1-2, 11-18
Very sad, and very ironic, that yesterday we lost two priests of the diocese. Fr. Phil Salmonowicz, pastor of St. Francis De Sales, in Norton Shores, passed away yesterday morning, from his battle with cancer, and in the afternoon, Fr. Donn Tufts, one of our retired priests passed away from his long battle with cancer. It is a sad day, for the diocese, but a great day for heaven. I knew both priests fairly well; they loved the Lord; they loved celebrating the Eucharist, and they loved serving God’s people.
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene and her great love for the Lord, for the Eucharist, and for serving God’s people.
In our Gospel, because of this great love, Mary Magdalene is the first to go to the tomb, while it is still dark. Seeing the stone rolled away, she runs back to tell Peter and the others, (for brevity, this is left out of our story today), and they come to the tomb. After seeing the tomb empty, Peter and the others return to Jerusalem. Mary in her great love for Jesus, stays outside the tomb weeping. In a conversation with Mary, Jesus twice calls her “woman” but she fails to recognize him. When Jesus calls her by name, “Mary” she does recognize him, and she begins to hug him and embrace him. She is like the woman, in our first reading who searches for her husband whom she loves very much. When she finds him, she cannot stop embracing him and hugging him. Jesus then says, “Stop holding on to me.” This shows that there is a big change in the relationship, and she is now to go and tell the others the good news.
We are called not to “like” Jesus that would demand nothing. We are called to be like Fr. Phil, Fr. Donn, and Mary Magdalene, who loved Jesus. To love someone demands and act of our will to be changed. The Eucharist is offered to us to love God more, to love the Eucharist more, because it is the greatest gift ever, and to love and serve others more this day.