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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today we rememberToday the church remembers Saint Mary Magdalene.

Mary of Magdala (Magdalene) was one of several people of ill repute whose lives were radically changed by Jesus. The scriptures are not explicit about the nature of her many sins, but it is made clear in the gospels that Jesus gave her the will and power to abandon them. Nevertheless, the authorities were not impressed, and Jesus seems to have been criticized for keeping company with such people.

Tradition has held that Mary of Magdala was a very emotional person and our English word "maudlin" derives from her name. She followed Jesus into Galilee and helped care for him and the disciples there. She witnessed the Lord's suffering on the cross. She took oil to anoint his entombed body and therefore she is often represented with a jar of ointment. Her tearful reaction on finding an empty tomb is still a favorite line to many faithful, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him" (John 20:13). When the Lord appeared and called her name, "Mary," she recognized him and exclaimed, "Teacher!" She was the first to see the risen Lord.

Help us to recognize Jesus when we meet him, that we may proclaim the Good News of his eternal life to the world. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and of mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities and know you in the power of his unending life; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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