July 22, 2021

Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene

“I dare you!” Kids often dare each other to try something difficult or even scary. When dared, we hesitate to respond because of doubt or uncertainty. Circumstances may cause us to challenge ourselves. A golden opportunity opens up, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference. Maybe this is how Mary Magdalene became the woman known as the Apostle to the Apostles. Did Mary dare herself to become a significant figure among those drawn to Jesus, to be a leader in the early Church?

Mary Magdalene was born in the city of Magdala to a wealthy family. She was a major supporter of the synagogues in the area and Jesus’ ministry. She became as crucial to Jesus’ mission as Peter was to his male supporters.

Stories say she was a reformed prostitute, but the Church says her history has become entangled with others. Jesus had cleansed her of seven demons, and in return, she became one of his most ardent admirers and followers. She was present at his crucifixion and death. She was among the women who went to Jesus’ tomb, where she saw the angels. Most importantly, Mary was the first to recognize the risen Lord when he called her name. When she reached out to him, Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” She is told to tell the others the news of his resurrection and impending ascension to the Father.

Mary Magdalene dared herself to adopt a behavior that required courage, to accept a challenge to proclaim Christ’s message. Now he has sent her to continue his work, to put her faith to work. Greater awareness of Mary Magdalene helps us give honor to her memory as a devoted follower of Christ.

Have we been dared to change, to grow deeper in our love of God? Have you dared to share his word with a friend or neighbor? Will you recognize him when he calls your name?

Let Us Pray:

Dear risen Lord, help us be attentive to your word in our lives. You call us by name and dare us to tell the world about you. I’m listening, Lord, and with your grace, I will answer your call. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Nancy MacRoberts

Nancy is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament at Corpus Christi parish in Houston, TX.