Liturgical Colour : White
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of a renowned and great saint, a holy woman who lived her life in devotion to God. However, her greatness and fame came not from her power, achievements or greatness in any human sense. In fact, she was great because she was a repentant sinner, who turned her back from the worst of sins she had once committed, and dedicated herself fully and completely to the Lord.
This saint is St. Mary Magdalene, one of the holy women who followed Jesus, up to the sacrifice He made on the cross at Calvary, where she followed Him together with the other Mary, the mother of our God. St. Mary Magdalene was a faithful disciple of the Lord, and she was one of the first disciples to whom Jesus had appeared just right after His resurrection in order to proclaim to them the truth. She was truly privileged, but she was not always good as that.
Yes, St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute who engaged in licentious and wicked activities, and once even she had seven evil spirits that possessed and dwelled in her. That was the case until Jesus met her and cast those demons away from her. She then became one of the close and trusted followers of Jesus who followed Him through wherever He went to teach and heal the people of their sickness and afflictions, just as what had been done unto her.
Those who are sinners do not need to lose hope, as if they sincerely repent and change their ways from their sinful past, then they will be received back by Jesus, who is the Lord of mercy and Lord of love. That was what had happened to St. Mary Magdalene, who turned her back to her sinful past, and vowing to follow the Lord for the rest of her life.
Many of us today also still live in darkness, and although we often desire to return to the light and forsake the darkness, we often are not able to cut away our strong attachments to sin and wickedness that filled out past. The reading in the first reading today, taken from the Book of the Song of songs, is a representation of our desire to seek the Lord, who is truly the love and desire of our hearts.
But along the way, we often get distracted and misled, so that our desire to seek the Lord and be reunited with Him in love gets replaced with selfish desires and greed which characterised many of our actions, mankind’s actions that show our fragility and weakness towards sin. This is why we are inhabited by the evil spirits and by our evil desires, just as St. Mary Magdalene once was.
Ultimately, what is important is that we have hope, and we should never give up hope no matter how dark and impossible the situation is. What is impossible for men is always possible for the Lord. Even the greatest of sinners and the most wicked of blasphemers are not completely without hope. And we cannot forget the very fact that Jesus came for the sake of sinners and those who were lost in darkness. Remember that He said so when the Pharisees criticised Him for eating at the house of tax collectors?
Jesus our Lord loves all, and especially more so those who are deep in sin, as these people are those who are at the greatest risk of falling into eternal damnation of hell, out of which there is no escape. Let us recall the story of Lazarus and the rich man, when the rich man fell into hell and suffered in hellfire, because he had not abandoned his sinful ways and ignored those who are in need like Lazarus.
And St. Mary Magdalene showed us that if we are willing to change our ways and listen to God, following Him instead of the devil, there is hope for all of us. But in order to do this, requires much sacrifices and efforts from us. Nevertheless, if we are able to persevere, we will receive much rewards in the end, just as what St. Mary Magdalene had received as a reward for her faith and piety to God.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the conversion and the newfound faith of St. Mary Magdalene, let us all renew our faith to God, and let us find God, who is the true love and desire of our hearts. If St. Mary Magdalene can find Him, then we can certainly find Him as well in our own lives. May God be the light that enlightens us and lead us on our way. Amen.