Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with the Saints: Mary Magdalene

Exodus 14:15—15:1 must always be used. Romans 6:3–11; Psalm 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23;
Year A: Matthew 28:1–10; Year B: Mark 16:1–7;
Year C: Luke 24:1–12

Mary Magdalene is one of the main characters in the story of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. Mary was not a public sinner. Nor was she the figure who anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears or wiped them with her hair. She was, however, a faithful disciple. Unlike the male disciples, who fled from Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary was present. Matthew and Mark place her among those “looking on from a distance” (Matthew 27:55–56; Mark 15:40). Luke identifies her, as do the other Gospels, with the women who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.

We can imagine what she must have endured after Jesus’ violent death. Like anyone who had put hope in Jesus, Mary must have been devastated. In John 20, we witness her great grief and her anxiety as she discovers the empty tomb. John then helps us imagine her joy and wonder when Jesus, the Good Shepherd, meets her in the garden, calls her by name, and gives her a mission to announce his resurrection to the other disciples.

Mary Magdalene becomes the first to witness to the Risen Lord. We have spent Lent in prayer and penance to prepare us to renew our baptismal identity. Tonight we welcome those becoming Christian and entering into full communion with the church. May Mary Magdalene inspire the newly baptized and received, and all of us, to take our Easter joy into the world!

Today’s Action

Read the stories of Mary Magdalene in the Gospels and reflect on her true role in Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection.


Jesus, help us imitate Mary Magdalene as your faithful disciple.
May we seek you, hear your voice calling us, and be your witnesses in the world.

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