Mary Magdalene - Intentional Disciple

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion for July 26,2015

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion for July 26,2015
________________________________________________________________________

After his baby brother's Baptism, little Johnny sobbed all the way home. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, Johnny replied, "The priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys."

Today, we honor St. Mary Magdalene, the Patroness of the Parish, who, once she encountered Christ, made her home with Christ and His followers –- those who through faith in Jesus and Baptism became the family of God.

When we think of St. Mary Magdalene, what do we think of? Perhaps a repentant sinner, a liberated soul, a hospitable woman, a caregiver, etc.? How about a disciple?

Above all, St. Mary Magdalene was an intentional disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ! Yes, she may have been those other things, but they formed a part of her path to, and her life of, discipleship in Christ.

What are the key marks of a disciple?

We might say: Faith, following, and finding.

First Mark of a Disciple: Faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and God.

A keen observer noted:

"The trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn't cool."[1]

Yet, regardless of the changing mores of secular society, a deep belief in the Lord Himself – that He is God come down from Heaven -- and trust in Him is the basis of abundant life here and now, and eternal life hereafter.

Second Mark of a Disciple: Personal surrender and commitment to Jesus, that is, dedication to following Him, His will, His teachings.

Someone said:

"Jesus of Nazareth always comes asking disciples to follow him –- not merely 'accept him,' not merely 'believe in him,' not merely 'worship him,' but to follow him: one either follows Christ, or one does not. There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which the lordship of Christ will be excluded. We either make him Lord of all lords, or we deny him as Lord of any."[2]

Third Mark of a Disciple: Most of all, the mark of a disciple is love of the Lord above all else and all others, so much that we live in Him and for Him, as the very reason for our being.

It is no coincidence that the Risen Lord appeared first to St. Mary Magdalene. The depth of her love for Jesus impelled her to seek Him out, and to serve Him and minister to Him, even in the tomb. Thus, as the Lord says in the Bible, "When you seek me with all your heart, then you will find me with you" (Dt 4:29). Seeking Him in love, she found the Lord.

Finally, after faith, following, and finding, Christ uses His disciples –- for corporal and spiritual works of mercy and to bring others to Christ Himself, that they, too, may become intentional disciples and come to love and follow Him with all their heart.

What is the extent of our love for Christ?

Are we seeking Him with all our heart?

Are we just an interested bystander, or His intentional disciple?

It has been said that, "The choice we face is not, as many imagine, between heaven and hell. Rather, the choice is between heaven and this world. Even a fool would exchange hell for heaven; but only the wise will exchange this world for heaven."[3]

In light of these considerations and the loving invitation of the Lord, two significant steps we can take are:

- Make an individual and a family commitment to follow Christ fully as His disciple(s); and

- Invoke the intercession of St. Mary Magdalene for Jesus to help everyone in this Parish-family to love the Lord with all our heart.

May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ guard us and guide us always along the path to life.


[1] Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Thomas Nelson (2003).

[2] Lee Camp, Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World, Brazos Press (2d ed., 2008).

[3] Dave Hunt, An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, Harvest House Publishers (2000).

Tags: homilies, clergy corner
 

Clergy Corner

Read our Clergy Corner blog.


Recent

Total Commitment to the Lord

Friday, September 18, 2020
The life of a Christian whose commitment to the Lord is not total is a waste. St. Paul was a totally committed apostle so that he could assure his... Read More

Forgiveness

Friday, September 11, 2020
This Sunday’s Gospel passage offers us a lesson on forgiveness which does not deny wrongdoing but recognizes that human beings, created in... Read More

Patience, Courage and Charity

Friday, September 4, 2020
One of the greatest issues that tend to plague the younger generations is their inability to properly communicate. In a digital age, where most... Read More

But who do you say that I am?

Friday, August 21, 2020
When Jesus quizzes the apostles about His developing reputation, they are well aware of what people were saying. The apostles had families and... Read More

God Hears Our Prayers

Friday, August 14, 2020
We continue hearing from the Gospel of St. Matthew these stories of a seemingly uncouth Jesus dealing with a Canaanite woman begging for help. This... Read More

Reaching the Distant Shores

Friday, August 7, 2020
The disciples were at the mystery of a storm. "The boat, already several hundred yards out from shore, was being tossed about in the waves... Read More

Nothing can Separate Us from His Love

Saturday, August 1, 2020
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish provides a chance for a midsummer reflection on the Eucharist, on the Mass, the central... Read More

Celebrate Our Parish Feast Day

Saturday, July 25, 2020
This weekend is special! Not because I’m finally here… because this weekend we celebrate our Parish Feast Day. The Feast of St. Mary... Read More

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner

Sunday, July 19, 2020
It is true that we have to “hate sin but love the sinner,” for, after all, we have to follow the example of our Merciful God. It is... Read More

Thank You, Mary Magdalene!

Sunday, July 12, 2020
Read More

Jesus Wants to Journey with Us, Right Beside Us

Sunday, July 5, 2020
It is to people like ourselves that the Lord speaks in today’s Gospel reading. He asks all who find life weary and burdensome to come to Him:... Read More

If Not, Why Not?

Sunday, June 28, 2020
The Gospel this weekend leads us to ask a simple question… “If not, why not?” What do you know in your heart to be absolutely... Read More

The Test of True Loyalty for Humans is Loyalty to God

Sunday, June 21, 2020
Whom shall we be afraid of; God or man? The answer is obvious, but let us be sincere in our examination. Many times we have contradicted our belief... Read More

Walking Together Toward the Promise of New Life

Saturday, June 13, 2020
The Gospel of John presents the discourse on the “bread of life,” held by Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum, in which he affirms,... Read More

Let Your Faith Shine Forth

Sunday, June 7, 2020
I want you to think about the readings from the past few weeks. When we get to heaven… what is that that we are going to find? Are we going... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!