22 July 2021

Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Wednesday of the 16th week in ordinary time, July 22, 2021; memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene, holy woman

When I found him whom my heart loves. Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Thursday of the 16th week in ordinary time, July 22, 2021; feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, holy woman. Reading is delivered by Catur Lastiatama and meditation delivered by Jeane Jackyline, from Saint Peter’s School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Song of Songs 3: 1-4a; Rs psalm 63: 2.3-4.5-6.8-9; John 20: 1.11-18.


Our meditation today has the theme: Participating in the Love of Christ. “Why does the bible say that love is demanding?” A demand or requirement should have a target of achievement that is preceded by a person’s obligation to act within the limits of his ability to achieve that target. This is indeed different from an enforcement, because a person forced by someone else does not understand the target of achievement and his does not have free will. There is only compulsion.

Today we celebrate the day of Saint Mary Magdalene. This Jewish woman at the time of Jesus was known to be very close to Jesus. She was the first person to witness Jesus rose from death. This very close relationship should be a lesson for us about love. Our point of reflection here is the love of Jesus, which is to offer Himself for the goodness and salvation of His fellow men and women.

When its right time and place come, the act of love has the power to demand. At most, maybe there is 90 percent of its power encourages someone to love in whatever expressions such as being patient, understanding, kind and generous. The remaining 10 percent maybe consist of doubt, fear, reluctance, confusion, and lack of understanding. Mary Magdalene in that particular moment of her life responded to the love of Jesus in an imperfect condition, but she continued to follow Jesus with all her strength and will. The climax  of her spiritual experience was when she was so shock in finding out that the tomb of Jesus was empty, and she was rather difficult to recognize the risen Jesus until Jesus revealed Himself to her, namely to penetrate the body and soul of Mary then she immediately recognized the presence of the risen Lord.

Mary Magdalene certainly had learned a lot about the love of Christ. In various occasions after following the Christ, she lived by that love she had taken from her Teacher. In general, she was faithful to Jesus, for instance she was in Jesus’ company along the way of the cross until His death, then she grieved over the empty tomb and eventually she found Him alive as the risen one. However, another prominent experience of love so worth mentioned that would make her spiritual life complete was the biblical prove of her courage and joyfulness in proclaiming to the rest of the Lord’s followers, as she said “I have seen the Lord”.

In doing so, Mary Magdalene indeed merited her being an apostle of Jesus who was the true paschal messenger to the first Church in Jerusalem, and all of us in this world. Today she gives us a challenge, as if she speaks to us in these words: “Come on, I had taken my part from the love of our Master, Jesus Christ, so now it is your turn to partake in the love of our Lord Jesus. Don’t let the precious fragrance of the love of Jesus Christ go in vain without being experienced. There is a simple question for our reflection that may help us to experience certain closeness with the Lord: Do you experience right now the love of the Lord Jesus Christ? Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for Yourself and Your teaching on love. Stay with us always and fill us with your love. Hail Mary full of grace … In the name of the Father …

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