Saint Mary Magdalene: the “Prodigal Woman”

St. Mary Magdalene is an attractive saint present in the Gospels, whose life, permeated with setbacks and consolations, suggests many lessons for us.

Newsroom (26/07/2022 10:45 PM, Gaudium PressThe Gospels tell us that Mary Magdalene, always very audacious and with daring desires, was consumed with love for the Divine Master and, insatiable of Him, “pursued” Him wherever she went. There were no obstacles to her desire to serve Him, to be close to Him and to please His Heart. That is why, even after the Savior’s death, we still see his disconcerted person at the tomb looking for his Lord, saying: “They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him” (Jn 20:2).

We know, however, how many valleys and hills she walked through before she found her Lord. Troubles, difficulties and trials were the forge in which her soul was being molded, with hard blows… from a merciful God. Yes! What made her change? The divine Heart of Jesus: love!

From “prodigal woman” to Saint

On the other hand, reading the parable of the prodigal son, conceivable only by a God made man, one can see the discernment, acuteness and wisdom of the Divine Master in the elaboration of the narrative: it surpasses, by far – infinitely – any treatise on spiritual life. There, every comma is written in blood, but by Redeeming Blood, paid for on a cross.

In fact, its application covers any son or daughter truly desirous of returning to the paternal house, with contrition and repentance.

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And it is for this very reason that, in many respects, this parable fits the life of Magdalene: her falls, her conversion, and her subsequent acts of reparation are attitudes of the “prodigal woman” who, forged on the anvil of merciful love, returns contrite to the Father, Jesus.

It is never too late to return to the father’s house

Already converted, fully united to the Master, the “divine gardener”, Mary Magdalene accomplished the unique mission of evangelizing Gaul, which came to be the firstborn daughter of the Church. From the sinful, once rakish woman, are born the children of promise of the nation that would become the cradle of fidelity to the Holy Church. With the excellent fruits of her mission, God gives one more proof of love to the wretched; of God’s gratuitous love.

Saint Mary Magdalene, “the first among the virgins”, reminds us that only by trusting in God can one reach the fulfillment of one’s vocation, whatever it may be.

May the “prodigal woman”, Saint Mary Magdalene, give us the certainty that it will never be too late to return to the paternal house.

By Renan Costatarde

[1] Gospel proper of the liturgical memory, July 22, (Cf. J0 22, 1-2. 11-18).

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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