Mary Magdalene loved Jesus. When Jesus casted out all the demons from her life, she was healed and began a new life:
“Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. There Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…” Luke 8:1-2
I can imagine how difficult her life must have been before she met Jesus. Due to her psychological mind frame, she must have been scorned by all, and probably lived in isolation.
Her sadness upon discovering Jesus’ body gone must have distressed her, and seeing Christ, I can imagine her running to him and holding Him tightly in an embrace.
Jesus asks, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
His wounds fresh, Jesus tells her, “Stop holding on to me.” Jesus had not ascended yet. He gives Mary Magdalene a mission.
My question to myself is, “What mission does Jesus give me?”
How do I feel about the resurrected Christ? How has it changed my life?
As part of my Art Therapy session today, I was asked, “how would I imagine myself as a landscape?” My thoughts drifted to Mary Magdalene, her search for Jesus when she thought He was gone, and then running off to share the good news. I closed my eyes and imagine my arms outstretched embracing the world sharing the light of Christ.
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
a poem i wrote as i reflected upon Your death on the Cross.
i/I cry out
my heart asunder
at what price
my soul so scarred by my sins
a new life i/I now have
washed in Your Blood
by Your death on the cross
my sins an inheritance from my parents
passed into me from that moment in time
the testament of your love
in a gift so free
in Your creation of me
i/I was created to love you
in Your image
i/I were meant as a perfect gift
him/her created to continue your legacy
to gift a love so pure
it can only be mirrored in her and him
the beauty of Eden gone
seduced by the serpent
they left your embrace in shame
now lust and concupiscence
a scar their hearts running deep and forever
until returning as a babe
pure and Divine
Your body hung on the cross
death was defeated
i/I too have crucified you
like one of your accusers
Your sacrifice so great
so that a new life i/I can have
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfil the word which he had spoken, “Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”
Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Ca′iaphas, who was high priest that year.[a]14 It was Ca′iaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, 16 while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants[b] and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Ca′iaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants[c] of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
Jesus before Pilate
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Ca′iaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.[d]29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”[e]30 They answered him, “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”[f]32 This was to fulfil the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die.
33 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” 37 Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
Jesus Sentenced to Death
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no crime in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barab′bas!” Now Barab′bas was a robber.
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; 3 they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.”[g]8 When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; 9 he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?”[h] But Jesus gave no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”
12 Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gab′batha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
17 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol′gotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the scripture,
“They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
25 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.[i]
28 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus
38 After this Joseph of Arimathe′a, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicode′mus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. 40 They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
I am set free by Your death on the Cross from the evil that has bound me in sin.
It’s been a heartfelt and spiritual journey this week reflecting on Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion. I feel there is a sadness in Christ knowing that Judas was seduced by Satan and betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.
The king takes the role of servant. There is also a great sense of humbleness and humility in our beloved Christ washing the feet of his disciples.
In the Gospel, Matthew 20:28, Jesus came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus taking a towel and basin expresses His deep humbleness and it foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross – and the washing away our sins.
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
Now more than ever, there is a need for all Christians regardless of creed or denomination to discern. To discern that which comes from our Heavenly Father, and that which comes from the evil one. In our world of misinformation, and false narratives, it is often hard to distinguish what is the truth of God, and what is of the world.
Knowing the difference is detrimental to our journey into eternal life. Truth in our world is no long black and white, but shades of gray (a fusion of half truths mixed with lies) and walking those lines can be like riding a rollercoaster, where the plunge can take you down, and without realizing you have fallen into Satan’s grasp.
Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries has a new pamphlet coming out, and I encourage my readers to get it.
Renewal Ministries is dedicated to fostering renewal and evangelization in the Catholic Church by helping people know the personal love of God in Jesus and grow in holiness.
As a fired up Catholic, I love to share the love of Jesus, and I love tuning into this ministry for the very fact that it is reaching out into our community to spread that love and light. I love to lead others to Jesus through introducing informative and in-depth programs that help us see beyond all the din in our lives. In the series below, Ralph & Peter talk about fixing our eyes on the Lord in challenging times, allowing us to bear fruit, flourish spiritually, and see the glory of Jesus:
God Bless all who are walking in Jesus. Let us pray for the salvation of all💖
Starting your day by asking God for encouragement, hope and strength is a great way to begin your day.
Taking the time to pray in the morning centres your mind, heart and soul with God. It opens your day on a bright note. It fuses your day with positive vibes. I pray while still lying in bed and I use a little prayer book:Prayers and Heavenly Promises compiled by Joan Carroll Cruz.
Today, I want to share with you some of my favourite morning prayers:
Fatima Morning Offering
Based on Our Lady of Fatima’s request
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings, all that this day may bring, be they good or bad: for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Good Morning God Prayer
Good Morning God! You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new. So here I am to ask you, God, if You’ll renew me too.
Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday and let me try again dear God to walk closer in Your way.
But Lord, I am well aware, I can’t make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I cannot walk alone.
The Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my associates, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
Morning Prayer of St Francis
St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily; to lean on your great strength, trustfully, restfully;
to wait for the unfolding of your will, patiently, serenely;
to meet others, peacefully, joyfully; to face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.
From personal experience, praying the rosary is my spiritual weapon. This is especially needed, for the closer I draw near to God’s embrace, the more sneaky the evil one is in attacking me. Think Eve in the garden of Eden, especially upon how the serpent seduced her with tricky words:
Being on guard to how my wandering thoughts, words and heart can betray God through Satan’s tricky is something I need to be aware off. This is why praying the rosary (“Hail Mary”) stops me before a sinful desire or a licentious thought can entrap or take hold of me. When I want to read a trashy romance, I ask myself – is it worth it to give up heaven for temporal pleasure? Is it worth giving up heaven for my addiction to my devices and spending hours on end on social social media (time once past is gone forever). It’s easy to fall into Satans grasp! That’s why the rosary (a mother’s fighting stance) and verses from the Bible are my spiritual weapon.
Genesis 3:1-5 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
The First Sin and Its Punishment
3 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When we invite Holy Mary into our lives through the rosary, we are using a weapon given to us by God – for she will crush Satan’s head with her feet:
Genesis 3:15 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
We have the Immaculate Heart of Mary battling for us! I want to share with all my readers a must watch video with Fr. Luke:
I recall reminding my 15 year old to pray before bed, and her response to me, “Mom, I don’t pray. I talk to God!” Out of the mouth of a teenager!
Prayer is one of the most important aspect in our relationship with God, it is our direct channel to him as we bring to him all our adoration, love, not to mention all our stresses, worries, queries, hopes, and angst. Prayer is also offering our intentions and healing for others.
Prayer comes in many forms, and talking to God is indeed how we develop a deeper relationship with Him. This poem by Mary Oliver wonderfully expresses it:
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but a doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
– Mary Oliver, Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver
From formal to free flow prayers with God, the one prayer I always say either on it’s own, or with my daily structured prayer time is “The Lord’s Prayer”. This prayer is also incorporated in the Daily Rosary and most chaplets. It is also a prayer said in every mass worldwide. I love this prayer! I remember learning this prayer in Sunday School, and recall also saying this prayer in elementary school at a time when it was permissible by our school board and government.
5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.[a]
7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 ‘Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.[b] 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial,[c] but rescue us from the evil one.[d]
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The Lord’s Prayer is what Jesus taught his disciples, and it is a complete prayer:
Image is a screenshot from:
Let’s lift up all our voices to God. Like a symphony of heart felt prayers flowing up in the stratosphere to God’s ears.
Borrowing a phase coined by the Archbishop of Montreal, Most Reverend Christian Lépine, “The door to the manger is always open”, I wish to greet all with a joyous and “Happy Christmas Eve”.
Let us unite together from all across our globe and rejoice with a melody in our heart as we let the light of the Bethlehem star warm our hearts with faith, hope and love .
As in a time in antiquity when three wise men journeyed afar to meet Baby Jesus, and as Shepard minding their fields heard the joyful proclamation by the choral of angels – let us welcome our Saviour into the world with joy and thanksgiving.
Luke 1:10 – 14
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
As Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal reminds us,
Through this pandemic, let us always keep the door of our heart open, constantly keeping a look of kindness, inspired by the look of goodness that the child Jesus has for us,”
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal
Let us start our day with a a prayer of thanksgiving, a smile and an inner glow within and without, as well as a spirit filled song in our hearts.
From Christmas Novena Prayer
The Birth Of Jesus In The Stable Of Bethlehem (Ninth Day)
O Adorable Infant Jesus! I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet if I did not know that You Yourself invites me to draw near You.
It is I who by my sins have made You shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since You have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners, forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned You, my Savior and my God, who are so good and who has loved me so much.
In this night, in which You bestowest great graces on so many souls, grant Your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine also.
All that I ask of You is the grace to love You always, from this day forward, with all my heart. Set me all on fire with Your holy love. I love You, O my God, who has become a Babe for love of me. Never let me cease from loving You evermore.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, You can obtain everything from Your Son by Your prayers. This is the only favor I ask of You. Do You pray to Jesus for me. Amen.”