19th & 26th July 2020 – 16th & 17th Sundays in Ordinary Time

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Our Primary School St Agnes closed for the summer holidays last Friday. This summer will be different for many of us. The Church, however, continues with her rhythm of celebrations. Next Wednesday, 22nd July, the Church rejoices celebrating St Mary Magdalene. When her celebration was raised to becoming a feast in the Church’s year, archbishop Arthur Roche form the Congregation of Divine Worship wrote:

On the one hand, Mary has the honour of being the first witness to the resurrection of the Lord, the first to see the empty tomb and the first to hear the truth of His resurrection. Christ has a special consideration and mercy for this woman, who shows her love for Him, looking for Him in the garden with anguish and suffering. In this sense, we would point out the difference between the two women present in the garden of Paradise, and in the garden of the Resurrection. The first disseminates death where there was life, and the second proclaims Life from a tomb, the place of death. … Likewise, it is in the garden of resurrection that the Lord says to Mary Magdalene, ‘Noli me tangere’ (Do not cling to me). It is an invitation not only to Mary, but also to all the Church, to enter into an experience of faith that overcomes any appropriation or human understanding of Jesus. It is a good lesson for every disciple of Jesus: do not seek human securities and worldly honours, but faith in the Living and Risen Christ.

“Precisely since she was an eyewitness to the Risen Christ, she was also the first to testify before the apostles. She fulfils the mandate the Risen Christ gives her: ‘go to my brothers and say to them … Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her’. In this way she becomes, as is already known, an evangelist, or rather a messenger who announces the good news of the resurrection of the Lord; she is the Apostle of the apostles, as she announces to the apostles what they in turn will announce to all the world. Mary is the witness to the Risen Christ and announces the message of the resurrection of the Lord, like the other apostles.

It is right we celebrate Mary Magdalene’s feast day and are inspired by her to bring the Good News to those we meet.

Fr Javier

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