Today is the feast of Mary Magdalene: “Apostle to the Apostles,” as St. Augustine called her. This saint had the courage and loyalty to remain at the foot of the cross and was the first to testify to the resurrection. As she lingered near the tomb, weeping, she heard a voice speak her name. At first, she thought the person who spoke her name was the gardener, then realized it was her beloved “Rabbouni,” or teacher.
How often do we mistakenly view the sacred as something seemingly ordinary? Once we realize the unique sacredness of the encounter, the human inclination, is not to run away, is to cling; as Mary Magdalene tries to cling. Rainer Maria Rilke writes beautifully of Christ’s command to Mary Magdalene not to cling to him with these words: “he wished to make of her the lover/ who needs no more to lean on her beloved,/ as, swept away by joy in such enormous/ storms, she mounts even beyond his voice.”