>One of the great examples we have of how to love much is St. Mary Magdalene.
Yup, that’s right, this woman, reviled as an adulteress and worse, shunned even in Jesus’ time, loved with all she had.
Wish I could say the same.
She was a beauty, and she knew it and used it…but when she met Jesus, she recognized the Christ. She came to him, weeping, and washed his feet with her long gorgeous hair. And what did Jesus say to her? He said, “Her sins are forgiven because she has loved much.” Whoa. Loved much. Meaning, loved Him much. Because only in loving him can we even begin to love anyone else. If we don’t love him first, we will only love ourselves and then we can’t love anyone at all. But she saw him and her heart new, knew she was called right back to him, him who made her. And she came to him and wept, abject at the hurt she knew she had caused him by her separation. And he forgave her, he took her love right back.
How much hope does that give rotten ol’ selfish me?
St Mary Magdalene went on to be one of the ones left at his crucifixion, one of the ones who stayed with his mom Mary. She was faithful, her love didn’t fail. She was the one to see him first at the tomb; imagine her amazed joy after such grief and hurt. But this is the key, once she knew him – her love didn’t fail.
Wow. Her love didn’t fail.
She didn’t go back to loving her beautiful self.
She ignored the certain gossip and whispering about her and her reputation and focused on the truth of real love that she had found.
She didn’t say, “Now what about me?”
She did the next thing: loved him.
And then she did the next thing: loved him.
And then the next:…..love him.
See the pattern?
And still I stumble and go back to loving me first, not him and thus not others. Not enough.
So today, I rejoice for the example of St Mary Magdalene, one of the most hopeful of our saints. And I ask for her prayers, to help me love him (and thus others) better, truer, and more.