Saturday July 22, feast of Saint Mary Magdalene (Jn 20.1.11-18)
Pope Francis took advantage of the Jubilee of Mercy to recall the eminent role of Mary Magdalene in the Christian message. He instituted the feast in his name, which had previously only been the object of a simple liturgical memory. He revived his old title, which came from the pen of Thomas Aquinas: “Apostle of the Apostles”. By this formula, his mission is designated to go and announce to the eleven apostles, crushed with sadness and fear, that Jesus, “the Rabbouni” of Galilee, is truly the Living One, which the Gospel of the day indicates with these words “Go find my brothers…”
The story of the grace of Mary the Magdalenian, her other designation in the Gospel, is repeated in a few words in the Eucharistic preface to her feast: “in the garden, the risen Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, he (to her) appeared”. She is therefore an eyewitness of the Risen One. The prayer further specifies that she is “the one who had loved him”, with a love that nothing allows to transform into loving passion, a love in faith that recognizes the work of God in Jesus. Faithful, she follows him to the point of seeing him “die on the cross”. Three days later, in the early morning, “she looked for him when he was lying in the tomb and was the first to adore him when he rose from the dead. »
Because of her legendary femininity, a pope is unlikely to take her name. Yet his life, which is born in the mercy received and blossoms in faith in the resurrection, is a complete symbol for the mission of the whole Church.
Monday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time (Mt 12.38-42)
“We want to see a sign from you. » Isn’t this request for scribes and Pharisees also sometimes ours or the one we hear from our contemporaries? In difficult situations, in this world of which we do not see where it is going, we would like God to give us a sign to ensure our walk and our faith.
Jesus’ answer is clear: he invites his interlocutors to reopen their Bible, to meditate on a prophet, Jonah, who, despite himself, allows the pagans of Nineveh to turn to God and to a pagan queen who came from afar to seek the Wisdom of God from Solomon. Jesus’ answer is without appeal: on the Day of Judgment, these pagans who have converted or have recognized the Wisdom of God will judge the sons and daughters of Abraham, incapable of receiving the signs by which God comes to visit them, in the person of Christ.
To us, we are given the figure of Jesus the Christ, we are given the Gospel. Are we also given signs of His Spirit to try to recognize together how God continues to visit us? Calls are also made to us that invite us to convert ourselves personally and in the Church.
Christophe Roucou (French Mission)
Other texts: Ex 14.5-18, Ct: Ex 15.