Mary Magdalene: Your Faith has Saved you

IMG_2986The goodness of Jesus, the sweetness with which he treated her, must have struck the soul of Mary Magdalene who was so sensitive and thoughtful! She could never forget that majestic and tender face, that very pure and penetrating eye, the touch of that hand which was placed on her hand when he pronounced those words of command with which he ordered the devil to leave his victim.

She felt a blind need to see him and to hear him. In the crowd, in places where she was less well known, how many times had she listened to his words, witnessed his wonders! And in the meantime grace was working in her heart. She felt the need to go to Jesus…to say everything to him, the Holy One of God…to ask for forgiveness and to follow the righteous road…to return penitent to her brother and sister and live years of peace in her father’s house…that is what she wanted. There was no lack of difficulties. How much did Mary Magdalene have to fight to overcome them! How could she live an honest and upright life, abandon pleasures, friends, resist passion, and practise virtue? But in the end she won. Knowing that one day Jesus was having lunch in the house of Simon the Pharisee in the company of other Pharisees, probably in the city of Naim, she went there carrying a vase of alabaster that was full of valuable scent. Without having herself announced either to Jesus or the owner of the house, following the impulse of her spirit she burst into the dining room, looked for Jesus’ eyes, and not in the least concerned about the other people who were eating she threw herself at his feet and fell to weeping. She tenderly kissed those blessed feet that brought health to the people, holding in her hands her abundant hair which fell over her face she dried them with love, and breaking the vase of alabaster she covered them with the perfumes that she had brought with her!

Jesus allowed this to happen without saying much. Mary Magdalene wept and did not speak. The Pharisee did not like what she had done and in addition did not like Jesus’ attitude. He thought in his heart: ‘if this was a prophet he would certainly know who this woman is and what kind of woman is touching him: she is a woman of the world!’ Jesus read these judgements in the heart of Simon, ones that were without any doubt addressed to him: ‘Simon. A man who lent money had two debtors: one owed him five hundred silver pieces and the other fifty. Given that neither of them could pay, he forgave them both their debts. Which of them loved him the more?’ Simon answered: ‘I suppose the one whose debt was greater’. ‘You have judged rightly’. And looking at the woman he said to Simon: ‘You see this woman? I came into your home and you did not give me water for my feet – she washed them with her own tears and dried them with her hair. You did not anoint my body with oil: she anointed even my feet with scent. For this reason, I say to you: many sins of hers have been forgiven because she has loved a great deal. He who loves less is forgiven less’. And to Mary Magdalene he said: ‘your sins have been forgiven’. Those at table began to say to themselves: who is this man who even forgives sins? But Jesus said to the woman: ‘Your faith has saved you: go in blessed peace’.

     When Mary Magdalene, comforted by the words of Jesus, rose from his feet and left Simon’s dining room, she was by now a completely different woman to the woman she had been before, In the bath of many tears she had purified her conscience and the fire of divine love that flamed in her heart had consumed the very roots of those passions that had ruined her. All the energies of her soul, all the vigour of her exuberant nature, were directed to doing good, and with the same impetus with which she had thrown herself into the madness of this world, she gave herself to service to God. Mary Magdalene had become like the shadow of the body of Jesus. She lived only for his presence, his words, and his love.