St. Mary Magdalene

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The Saint we honor today is one controversial figure in the Bible.

At dahil Friday naman ngayon, let me do a #FlashbackFriday.

The Gospel writers Luke (8:2) and Mark (16:9) are both in agreement that Jesus cleansed her of seven demons. Ang dami ‘di ba? No wonder, some interpreted this to refer to seven deadly sins. Kung sabagay, pareho naman kasing seven.

In an article I read posted in BBC, Magdalene is usually portrayed in art “as semi-naked, or an isolated hermit repenting for her sins in the wilderness: an outcast.”

Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, became an overnight sensation, when he fictionalized Magdalene marrying our Lord Jesus, bearing a child with Him, and what’s more, claiming that their descendants walk among us even up to this day and age.

Siyempre pa, hindi magpapatalo ang Pinoy!

Our very own Ka Freddie calls Magdalena “Sawingpalad,” while Rico Blanco repeatedly asks her “Bakit ‘di ka makawala sa kadena?

Our first reading is taken from the Song of Songs. Largely attributed to King Solomon, this book expresses how God loves Israel, in as much as how the groom loves his bride.

The entire passage details about the longing of the bride for her groom. She embarked on finding him. And when she finally did, she held him tightly, never wanting to let him go.

This theme of longing, finding, and searching is consistent with the theme of the Gospel we have heard proclaimed today. The tomb which had been left sealed was opened; and the body of Jesus was missing.

Soon after, she would understand that Jesus rose again as He promised them. And Mary was there, ahead of the apostles to see the glorified body of her Master. She who witnessed His resurrection is the very first one to proclaim of this very good news to the apostles of Jesus.

Pope Francis sees in her an authentic evangelizer who loves Jesus until the very end. She is presented to us both as a model and a challenge to live our lives consistent with our Christian vocation.

Her life reminds us of our sinfulness, but  this very sinfulness was used by Christ to effect change in her life–change that has led her from being a mere follower of Jesus to being a proclaimer of His love.

May mga pinagdadaanan din tayong struggles. Conflicts sa relationships, problema sa bahay, mga bad habits na gusto na nating tanggalin sa buhay natin pero parang ang hirap isangtabi, ang hirap kalimutan. Pero dahil may isang Diyos na nagmamahal sa atin, hindi tayo pwedeng maging sawingpalad. Hinding hindi.

Mary Magdalene was called names. And among the labels attributed to her, she is most infamous for being a prostitute, “isang babaeng mababa ang lipad.”

But despite all these, Jesus chose her to be the first among His disciples to reveal Himself. Not because of her own merits but because Jesus is merciful. ‘Ika nga ng matandang kasabihan, may dahilan ang pusong hindi naiintindihan ng isipan.

May this celebration of the Holy Eucharist help us to live our lives like Mary Magdalene lived. She who had an ugly past enjoys eternity now because of the love of Jesus. Her response involved following Him along the way of the cross, at the side of the cross at the crucifixion scene, and even after His lifeless body was laid to rest.

Let us pray and strive for this grace as well.

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