Friday, 22 July 2016 : Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we commemorate together the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the closest and most faithful follower of Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Mary Magdalene was one of the holy and devoted women who followed at the side of Jesus even through His way of suffering towards His crucifixion at Calvary together with Mary, His mother.

St. Mary Magdalene was told to be a sinful woman before she followed Jesus and became His disciple. It was told in various traditions, that she was the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons, and she was indeed a prostitute and thus a great sinner, selling herself out to the pleasures of the flesh and of the world. But after she had been healed from her afflictions, she had a great turnaround in life and became a devout follower of God.

In St. Mary Magdalene we saw the great transformation of a sinner who became one of the greatest disciple of our Lord, who was undoubtedly important in the early years of the Church, supporting the works of the Apostles in bringing the word of the Lord to the people, in the evangelisation of the Jews and Gentiles alike, and in the establishment of the Church.

In all these we saw how God called not those who are already healthy, but instead, He looked for those who were weak, rejected by others, those who were cast out because they were considered as sinners and unworthy, and by His grace and mercy, in conjunction with their desire to be forgiven and their sincere repentance, God made them worthy once again, and He calls them His sons and daughters.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is that spirit of longing and desiring for our Lord as exhibited perfectly in the Book of Wisdom that all of us should have as well. It is the problem we often face because we do not have that longing for the Lord, that desire to be with our God, the love of our heart. Yes, we actually we have that innate longing for the Lord, but all that have been buried underneath the concerns, worries, temptations and pleasures of the world.

We have become disoriented and lost our way, and when we are lost, it is easy for the devil to seek for us and to grab us, dragging us into the quagmire of sin. It is when we begin to sin and fall into further and further disobedience against God, a vicious cycle that will eventually lead up to our downfall if we are not careful with our actions. And indeed, unless we commit ourselves to a total transformation of ourselves as what happened to St. Mary Magdalene and other holy saints, I fear that the path forward for us is narrow.

We have to realise that God loves us all, and He truly loves all of us very dearly, even the greatest of sinners. But there can be no salvation and forgiveness for our sins if we ourselves refuse to be forgiven. After all, how can we be forgiven if we continue to live in sin and do not cease our wicked and vile behaviour? How can we expect God to forgive us if we remain stubbornly attached to the rebelliousness of our forefathers?

Therefore, as we celebrate this feast of the holy saint, St. Mary Magdalene, there are two key takeaways that we must take note of. First of all, no sinners are beyond redemption, unless they themselves have rejected the Lord and refused His mercy. But even so, secondly, it is also important for us to take note that God’s mercy and forgiveness is not something that will be easily attained, and indeed these require commitment and often sacrifice.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, let us all heed the examples of the holy saints and all those who have gone before us. Let us all understand that God is looking for us sinners, and He is willing to forgive us and let us enjoy His love once more, but all these would require great effort on our side, that we shed off all the things and corruptions which prevented us from being able to obey Him and walk in His ways.

Let us all be renewed and let us all rediscover that joy we have for the Lord, be happy and rejoice for His loving mercy and tender care, and let us draw ever closer to His presence, mindfully remembering our sins and wickedness that had separated us from Him, and do our best to serve our penance, that we may be worthy of His forgiveness and find our way to His everlasting inheritance and joy. St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us. Amen.

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