Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, July 22, 2011

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Good morning. Today’s Gospel offers a magnificent lesson of both our relationship with God and our relationship with each other in marriage. In commemoration of the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene the reading is from John’s Gospel, the story of Mary mistaking Jesus to be the Gardener. Mary, in her exchange in the garden teaches us a great deal about our attitude and our posture not only in our relationship with Christ but in our relationship with our spouse. St. Anselm, in his Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene, summarizes this beautiful story of love and its unfolding in the garden outside the empty tomb: “The Lord calls his servant by the name she has often heard and the servant knows the voice of her own Lord.” This idea of being servants to one another in the marital relationship tends to create a great deal of controversy in today’s world. In today’s world where folks confuse equality with sameness, the idea of responding to one’s spouse as a servant doesn’t play well within some circles. Why even amongst some pastors, catechists and church leadership there tends to be a preferred posture of not offending, over clear direction and truth. Yet, this attitude and posture of servant is precisely what we are called to in marriage. We must imitate Mary of Magdala in our relationship with Christ and we likewise are called to do the same in our relationship with each other in marriage. This attitude and lived posture of respect, giving of self, duty to other and love is necessary if the Risen Lord is to be revealed to us in our marriage. This concept is summed up quite well in a story from mythology (Of all places) shared in an article which appeared on the Catholic News Agency website in April of this year. In this article, A Lesson in Love from Mythology, we read about two mythical creatures, Baucis and Philemon, who are visited by the mythical gods Mercury and Jupiter. In response to the hospitality this married couple offered to Mercury and Jupiter the two mythical gods wish to reward the couple for their kindness with whatever they desire. The response by this couple is that they truly desire nothing as they are quite happy with their lives together despite their having very little in the way of earthly things which most presume to bring joy and happiness. The husband, Philemon responds to the gods “But we have our love for each other, and we’re already perfectly happy, so what more could we want?” In response to the mythical gods insistence they finally accept some reward for their kindness asking that they be allowed to “…die in the same hour, still full of love as” they had “ever been, and depart this life together?” To read more of this delightful myth I encourage you to read the article by Anthony Buono. Mr. Buono is the founder of Ave Maria Singles and the Road to Cana. This attitude and posture of being as servants to one another may seem to be somewhat foreign in a culture of self-involvement, but such is the attitude required to find true joy and happiness in marriage. And the most remarkable thing is that each and every day we have a choice regarding the attitude we embrace and the posture we present to those we share our space with. What will be your attitude today? Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Mary Magdalene—a sincere and saintly servant to the Gardener.

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