The Great Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles, 22 July 2020

Troparion – Tone 8

By keeping his commandments Holy Mary Magdalene, you followed Christ even on to his death and resurrection, giving compassion as his compassion is infinite. Pray for us Mary Magdalene that we may know your compassion

Reading from the Book of Corinthians

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.

And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.

Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

~Chapter: 7 Verses: 12-24 

Reading from the Gospel of John

The angels asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they put Him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but
she did not realize that it was Jesus. ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking He was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward Him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni’ [Teacher]”

~Chapter: 20 Verses: 14-16


     Mary Magdalene was at first a woman who suffered the torments of the mind and social and societal ills of her time. From her first meeting with Christ she became his steadfast companion. Exhibiting faithfulness and compassion in his private moments, and during his entire ministry, and even onto his crucifixion where she was present until the very end along side the Blessed Mother. When his body suffered it’s last breath, it was she who washed and tended loving to his corpse. Anointing him with precious myrrh and praying faithfully. It is Mary who first witnesses his resurrection, she would not leave his side again until he ascended at Pentecost. At the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit and the holy fire charging the apostles to build what would become Christ’s Church, she also is anointed and charged to do the same treated as an equal to her Brother’s, because of her faithfulness.

    It is her suffering and compassion within it that drew Christ to her and is an example for us today. When the world is ugly and full of pain, death and grief, service is the way through it. Active compassion when others would turn away, she is a role model for us all, male and female, teaching us that the way to deal with grief is to go through the agony and face whatever lies ahead. To overcome the instinct to run away, or to go inward and dwell in darkness are not the ways of dealing with the most painful matters at hand.  The courageous never balk at cross bearing. Be a light in the darkest places and in the hardest of times, this was the way of Christ and exemplified by Holy Mary Magdalene.


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