Thursday, July 23, 2020

Magdalen and Me

Resurrection by Fra Angelico 1440
Yesterday was the Feast of Mary Magdalen, the Apostle to the Apostles because it was she who announced the good news to them. I love her so much and identify with her because like the Magdalen, I'm a sinner who's contrite. She is the woman whom Jesus heals of seven demons (seven deadly sins), who washes the feet of Christ with her tears and then dries them with her hair when He is dining with the Pharisees. They are surprised he'd let a woman of such ill-repute touch Him. But our Lord tells them that she has loved much. Is she the same Mary (of Bethany) who sits at Jesus's feet to listen, who breaks open a jar of costly nard to anoint our blessed Lord? I don't know. We know Jesus tells Judas the traitor to leave her alone, to let her prepare His body for burial. We do know she's the same Mary who accompanies our Lord to the Cross, and who is the first to see the risen Christ because she goes to the tomb early Sunday, while it was still dark, to anoint His Body. She's expecting to anoint a corpse, instead she sees two angels at the tomb. I love this painting by Fra Angelico because it tells the story so beautifully.   

St. John evokes the Song of Songs, which are love songs and can be very erotic but I've come to the conclusion that marital love is the perfect metaphor because there is no other equivalent to express how passionately God loves us. Think of the four stages: betrothal, wedding, consummation, birth. In the Magdalen, the conversion is complete.

I've been pondering this love for a long time, how He loved me from the beginning, how He loved me while I was still mired in sin, how He extended His Hand to me, drew me close even though I was filthy, and washed me tenderly. And no matter how often I fall, He picks me up, washes the dirt and grime off me and makes me pure again, the way I was meant to be. His love is constant, always seeking, and never satisfied until I am with Him and He in me.

Well, we finally got some time at the beach. So peaceful and beautiful, the water as warm as a bath! Deo gratias!


Mirka Breen said...

"...marital love is the perfect metaphor because there is no other equivalent to express how passionately God loves us"
Love this^

Jenni said...

I love your beautiful picture of the beach! Gorgeous! It is amazing that Jesus died for us while we were sinners. My favorite woman of the Gospels is the woman with the unexplained bleeding who touches Jesus to be healed.

Vijaya said...

Mirka, the book of Hosea is also so beautiful in expressing God's love for us even though we can be fickle.

Jenni, thank you. It's been so lovely to go to the beach. Oh how I love the story of her healing. Her faith is so extraordinary. I love all the healing stories and sometimes recount them on my rosary.