Reflections: St. Mary Magdalene

Today’s Reading: John 20:1-2, 10-18

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

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) (John 20:16)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Mary Magdalene received a number of blessings from the Lord Jesus. In Luke 8:1-3, we read about how Jesus healed her by exorcizing seven demons. Once this miracle happens, Mary follows Jesus, and the blessings continue to come as she listens to the teachings of her Lord. 

Then in John’s Gospel, we read that Mary is the first person to see the resurrected Jesus. At first she does not recognize Jesus. Maybe the tears, and the fact that she was an eyewitness to His death on the Cross, have so clouded her vision that the empty tomb, the angels, and even the appearance of Jesus Himself cannot cut through the sadness that fills her being. Mary is seeking a dead body, for she saw it taken down from the Cross. This living man standing before her could not be Jesus, so he must be a gardener. 

Mary only knows the truth when she hears, “Mary.” The voice of her Savior is unique, it is powerful, and it has authority. Jesus speaks one simple word, and Mary knows who He is. And all is now good. Jesus, who died on the Cross for the sins of the world, is now alive, and He comes with life and salvation. 

Like Mary, all of us have received blessings from the Lord Jesus. Jesus called you by name. In Baptism He spoke your name and brought life, hope, and salvation to you. No longer are you dead in your sins. Now, because of Jesus, you are forgiven. The blessings of the Lord do not stop with Baptism. Weekly the Lord comes in bread and wine, and at the altar you receive His very Body and Blood, a blessing that forgives your sins, strengthens your faith, and preserves you all the days of your life. 

One day we will once again hear the voice of our Savior Jesus. On that day, He will call us by name, and we will arise from our graves to live and serve Him forever in Paradise. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, restored Mary Magdalene to health and called her to be the first witness of his resurrection. Heal us from all our infirmities, and call us to know You in the power of Your Son’ s unending life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for St. Mary Magdalene) 

-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.