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Thursday, July 22, 1999

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St. Mary Magdalene

Song of Songs 3:1-4 or
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Psalm 63
John 20:1-2, 11-18

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"god is agape" (1 jn 4:16, our transl.)

"Tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away." —John 20:15

God is Love (1 Jn 4:16), but He is not just any kind of love. He is "agape-love," that is, unconditional love. The Lord loves each one of us perfectly and infinitely. He loves Judas and Hitler as much as He loves Mary, the mother of God. He loves us even though we helped crucify His Son by our sins. He loves us whether or not we ever love Him. He loves us even if we decide to never love Him, even if we decide to hate Him and be alienated from Him forever.

Mary Magdalene loved Jesus with unconditional love. She asked to take away the dead body of Jesus (Jn 20:15). She wanted to hold Jesus' dead body even if He couldn't touch, hear, or speak to her. To hold Jesus' dead body would give her extreme pain, but she wanted to hold it anyway. She loved Jesus unconditionally.

Do you love Jesus when He seems dead to you? Would you love Jesus if He never answered any of your prayers? (see Hab 3:17-18)  Would you love Him if you never felt Him? Would you love Him if He permitted all your children to die in one day? (see Jb 1:19-21) Would you die for love of Him (see Dn 3:18) even if He let you suffer terrible pain and disease? (see Jb 2:7)

God is unconditional Love. Receive His love, and love Him with that same unconditional love. St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

Prayer:  Father, do in me whatever it takes for me to love You unconditionally.

Promise:  "The love of Christ impels us who have reached the conviction that since One died for all, all died. He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up." —2 Cor 5:14-15

Praise:  "Jesus rose from the dead...(and) He first appeared to Mary Magdalene" (Mk 16:9).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998