July 22, 2008 - St. Mary Magdalene

Today's Reading: John 20:1-2, 10-18

Daily Lectionary: Samuel 5:1-6:3,10-16; Acts 18:1-11,23-28

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. (John 20:1)

On this day in the church' life we commemorate the Blessed St. Mary Magdalene, the first head of the altar guild. Mary was headed to the temple to care for the body of Christ, to take care of His crucified flesh and His spilt blood.

But Mary was faithless. She never should have been there in the first place. We try so hard to do good for our Lord and yet we still doubt His resurrection. She had been told that Jesus would rise on the third day, yet here she is acting like He’s still dead in the tomb.

We do exactly as Mary Magdalene did. We show up each Lord’s Day to Jesus’ altar full of pride and sin and we act like Easter never happened. We do not obey our parents as we should, we wish harm upon our neighbor and we lust for that which has not been promised to us in marriage. We yearn for what is not ours and even try to take it when no one is looking. We speak ill of our neighbor expecting and assuming the worst and then we take what is our neighbor’s: his house, home and wife. We do all of this and still show up to the altar expecting Jesus to be lying dead in the tomb.

Thanks be to God that our Lord has the last Word, because there at the altar, He lives and reigns eternally. He proves to us that He still lives as He gives us His living and crucified flesh and His living and spilt blood.

We weep, just as Mary wept but there is a messenger of God there to comfort us. We turn to our pastor in Confession and he stands just like this messenger of God as Christ Himself, in His stead and by His command and then gives us Himself in Holy Absolution. Peace be with you speaks our Lord and we depart in that peace and joy full of life and forgiveness.

In Mary Magdalene we see ourselves, faithless and yet redeemed. When we doubt, our Lord would have us look to our Baptism where, washed by water and the Word, our faithless Old Adam was drowned. We live to be free in the Gospel because our Lord lives. I know that my Redeemer lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.

All praise for Mary Magdalene, Whose wholeness was restored By You, her faithful master, Her Savior and her Lord. On Easter morning early A word from You sufficed; For she was first to see You, Her Lord, the risen Christ. (LSB 518:20)