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Celebrating Sainte Mary Magdalene

From today’s Forward Day by Day:

TUESDAY, July 22 Saint Mary Magdalene

John 20:18. Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”

The information about Mary Magdalene tantalizes the imagination. A Jesus groupie in an age when decent women did not leave home to follow itinerant men. One from whom seven demons, by Luke’s count, were exorcised. A woman of such low status that she was free to stand unchallenged at the crucifixion site. It is no wonder that, like other women who do not fit into boxes of conventional understanding, she is defined in terms of sex. By declaring her a prostitute, imagination satisfies the Bible’s thin facts and the human desire for predictability. She has become a sex symbol in every sense of the word.

In seeing her this way, we miss the single piece of information that connects Mary to us all: gratitude. She followed Jesus because he cast out the seven demons. Jesus gave her new life and hope, a fact she never forgot and carried as her banner through thick and thin. If one or more of the demons in her had a sexual manifestation, it does not matter to the bottom line. Mary Magdalene is witness to the power of gratitude, a power available to our lives as well as hers.

PRAY for the Church of Jerusalem and The Middle East and the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Today the Church remembers Saint Mary Magdalene.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Charity, Faith | , | Leave a comment

Getting Back More Than You Give

This is a daily meditation from Forward Day by Day, and I know what you are going to say – you are going to read this and say “but she only got back $10; she got exactly what she gave.”

You would be wrong. She also got the joy of giving sacrificially, giving all she had. She didn’t know she was going to get anything back. She got the feeling of doing the right thing.

You give more, you get more. There are so many things that money cannot buy, peaceful sleep, loving family, faraway friends who call you out of the blue because they are thinking of you . . . the Lord blesses a cheerful giver 🙂

FRIDAY, January 31

John 6:6. Jesus said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.

Sue’s young daughter barely got her offering in the collection plate in time. It was her entire allowance of $10. She’d given the money, she said, because she felt God called her to give all she had. But before the young girl could even take her seat, someone in the row behind gave her a folded $10 bill. Obedience had been rewarded.

Like Sue’s daughter, we are prompted to do things that might challenge our comfort zone. It could be the nudging to give more than we think we can afford, or to take on a task we are uncertain we can accomplish, or to provide a sacrificial act of grace or kindness for the sake of another. God often calls us to give beyond what we can see and reason, whether time, talent, or treasure. Perhaps then we can better see how much God can make of our little.

Jesus’ feeding of the multitude, told in the gospel we read today, did not depend on the disciples having enough food but on their willingness to bring what they had to him so he could increase it. As they served the food, the supplies grew until there was enough to satisfy the hungry crowd with leftovers. Our willingness to give always results in food that keeps on feeding.

January 31, 2014 Posted by | Faith, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Lectionary Readings | , , | 3 Comments