Family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley,
The church has many days of commemoration, times to recall those who have gone before us, to think about how large this family is, and how long it has been around. It is a way to learn from, and about, that "great cloud of witnesses". July 22nd is the date to remember Mary Magdalene. There are several Mary's mentioned in the gospels, and sometimes they get mixed together, and so there are some traditions about Mary Magdalene that are not necessarily true. What we do know is that she is one of the women of Galilee who followed Jesus. It is at the end of the gospel according to St. John that she comes most clearly into focus.
She was present at the crucifixion and and burial of Jesus, headed for the tomb to anoint his body, discovered the empty tomb, reported that to the disciples, and then was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared. She was in tears when he first appeared to her, not expecting anything miraculous, and only when Jesus said her name did she even know him for who he was. She knew joy at seeing him alive, but also some confusion and sorrow when told she could not touch him. She was the one then who witnessed to the disciples about what she had seen and as a result is sometimes called "the apostle to the apostles".
Tears and joy, shock, confusion, hope, and the need to share it all, just like real life. So much to learn. So many that would teach us. It is a rich history that we share, may know well that we are never in this adventure alone.
Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth. Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.