Feast of Mary Magdalene


Song of Songs 3:1-4
John 20:1-2, 11-18


The Feast of Mary Magdalene celebrates the life of a woman of great love. The first reading from Song of Songs prepares us for the Gospel; it proclaims the longing of one seeking the love of their life.

The Gospel brings us a Resurrection story, an important one, not only for the detail of the resurrection, the foundation of our faith, but also for the role of the messenger in proclaiming the risen Christ.

Interestingly today’s Gospel leaves out the verses where Mary runs to call the disciples, who check out the empty tomb and return home. It centres on Mary, who waits, who mourns, who is present in the moment. It is Mary, who encounters the risen Christ, who receives the instruction to spread the good news, and who is the credible witness to this life-changing event.

One can only imagine the effect that this event had in the life of Mary, already a faithful companion and committed follower of Jesus. In future years I imagine that she would have gathered the women and children around her and continued to share the faith, the good news, the belief in the message of Jesus and above all, the reality of a God who loved her. She is a powerful model for those who love deeply and work quietly, often behind the scenes. Let us never doubt the influence our love can have on others.

Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.