In this month, we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, “Apostola Apostolorum”, Apostle of the Apostles. She was a disciple of Jesus, following Him till His crucifixion, and the first witness of His resurrection. She brought the good news of His resurrection to the apostles. This is the reason given by the Congregation for the Divine Cult of the Holy See when last year her feast was established. This decision was also made to foster the attention and reflection about the role of women in the mission of the Church.
She is an example also for WUCWO women, as we want to be sowers of hope, which means that we want to bring Jesus and His words to a world which is oppressed by injustice, conflicts, violence, and war, in order to build communities where human dignity is respected, enhanced, and cultivated. Sometimes, we feel we are not suitable for such a task, we realise the gap between our reality and the goal, so we feel miserable and unworthy for such a purpose. Pope Francis, during one of his audiences, reflected about our state and gave us his encouragement: “And what are we? We are dust that aspires to the Heavens. Our strength is weak, but the mystery of the grace that is present in the life of Christians is powerful. We are faithful to this earth which Jesus loved every instant of his life, but we know and we want to hope in the transfiguration of the world, in its definitive accomplishment where finally, there will be no more tears, evil or suffering.
May the Lord give all of us the hope of being saints. But some of you might ask me: “Father, can one be a saint in everyday life?”. Yes, it is possible. “But does this mean that we have to pray all day?”. No, it means that you must do your duty all day: pray, go to work, take care of your children. But everything must be done with the heart open to God, so that work, even in illness and suffering, in difficulty too, is open to God. And in this way one can become a saint. May the Lord give us the hope to be saints. Let us not think that it is a difficult thing, that it is easier to be delinquents than saints! No. We can be saints because the Lord helps us; he is the One who helps us.
This is the great gift that each of us can make to the world. May the Lord grant us the grace to believe so profoundly in him as to become for this world the image of Christ. Our history needs “mystics”: people who reject all dominion, who aspire to charity and fraternity; men and women who live, also accepting a portion of suffering because they take on the burdens of others. But without these men and women, the world would have no hope. For this reason, I wish for you — and I also wish for me — that the Lord may grant us the hope of being saints” (General audience, June 21st 2017).
PRAYER TO SAINT MARY MAGDALENE
Saint Mary Magdalene,
woman of many sins, who by conversion
became the beloved of Jesus,
thank you for your witness
that Jesus forgives
through the miracle of love.
You, who already possess eternal happiness
in His glorious presence,
please intercede for me, so that some day
I may share in the same everlasting joy.