I have a lot of religious books. A lot. Yes, I have a couple of Bibles, several books of saints’ lives, tons of theology books since I recently completed studies for a degree in Theological Studies. And I have several biographical and autobiographical books about holy people who may not be official saints in the church but are saints nonetheless. I also own various books about the Sacraments and then some that are just Christian spirituality. My husband says I could open my own Religious Bookstore. Maybe I will some day…
All that to explain that today I was looking through a book that’s been ‘hiding in plain sight’ for months and months. The book by Amy Welborn is entitled A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days and contains in its pages bits of Scripture followed by a reflection and ending with a very brief prayer relevant to the topic of the reflection. It’s lovely. Why I have not been reading it daily, I cannot tell you. But I was moved to pick it up today.
It is good to reflect…
There was a reflection meant for early July that I opened to because it was marked with a piece of paper. The Scripture was from the Gospel of John, about Mary Magdalene at the tomb. And the prayer was that I may have the kind of faith she displayed. This Mary believed when those around her, who should have known better, lost faith and were so confused and scared. Not Mary.
The beautiful prayer is, “Lord God, help me to be faithful as Mary Magdalene was, in a world that has abandoned you.” Amen. She went to the tomb expecting to find a dead body and left rejoicing after meeting the risen Lord. First, telling her not to touch Him, Jesus says, “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
See how, without hesitation, no confusion, no fear, she runs off to tell them just that. So, yes, I am thankful that I was prompted to open this book today and read this Scripture and this prayer. I will pray it again and again. It does so often seem that the world has abandoned Jesus. He will never abandon us. In another Gospel account, that of Matthew, before He ascends, Jesus says the most comforting words ever: “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
So let us remember Jesus’ promise, and Mary Magdalene’s faith when all seemed lost. Let’s believe when the world seems to have abandoned the Lord. Let’s share the Good News even when no one else is and when no one else seems to care.
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