Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
By Michael Smith
A Reading from the Gospel of Mark 15:47-16:7
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
This is the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” This title is rooted in the gospel lesson, when the angel at the empty tomb of Jesus says:
Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.
An “apostle” is one who is sent forth with a message to proclaim or a task to accomplish. In this case, Mary Magdalene was given the mission of announcing the message of the Resurrection to the chosen Twelve who had been given the assignment of making disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything” that Jesus commanded them (Matt. 28:19-20).
The Catechism of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer teaches that the Church is described as apostolic “because it continues in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles and is sent to carry out Christ’s mission to all people” (BCP 854). With what part of Christ’s mission have you been entrusted? Where are you being sent in order to carry it out?
Michael G. Smith served as bishop of North Dakota for 15 years and is currently the Assistant Bishop of Dallas. He works with the Navajoland Iona Collaborative and is a Benedictine Oblate and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Maseno South – The Anglican Church of Kenya
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lake Mary, Fla.