God is not really interested in the status of a person, just their faith. It does not matter to him whether one is the richest and most powerful person in the world or simply someone who ekes out a living on a small plot of land in a rural community that has virtually no access to the modern amenities of today’s society. With God it is not a matter of either who or what you know, but how deep is your faith. Jesus chose to appear before Mary Magdalene, whose feast we celebrate today, after he rose from the dead before he appeared to the apostles! Why is this the case?

I think Jesus chooses this order because he wants to emphasise the fact that it does not matter who we are or what we were before we became his disciple; what matters is that we have faith in him and are truly seeking his will for our lives. Traditionally the Church believes that Mary Magdalene is the same woman as the one in the story of the woman caught in adultery – she is very lucky (blessed) to be alive! Yet he appears to her before his apostles! This tells us quite clearly that it is not one’s position in the Kingdom of God that matters, but that one is there is enough.

Mary Magdalene teaches us all the value of faith and perseverance. She is also an example of gratitude or else why would she still be among the followers of Jesus. She has encountered Jesus and the encounter has changed her life to the point that she is now a follower – a believer. Can we say the same of ourselves? Mary has made a decision that to be with Jesus, wherever he may be is the most important desire of her life. Can we say the same of ourselves?

We all want the benefits of faith but are we prepared to make the decisions that naturally accompany a life of faith? And here it is we confront the critical issue – discipleship makes demands upon our time and resources – are we ready to respond accordingly?

Am I willing to make the necessary difficult decisions that will accompany my becoming a disciple of Jesus? Am I serious about my life of faith?

Holy Spirit, open my heart to the grace God offers me to become his disciple and help me to respond to it with a generous and obedient heart.