Today the Church celebrates the Major Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been cast out. She is one of the womean who provided for the Lord Jesus and the male disciples out of her own resources. Perhaps more importantly, she is one of the undisputed witnesses to the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and is considered the Apostle to the Apostles because of here role in Luke and John of being the one to announce the Resurrection to the Disciples.
While at Cross Roads this week, I can’t help but thinking of the campers who are here, some of whom are part of a program for children whose parents are incarcerated. At worship, I can tell that many, perhaps most, of the campers know very little of the Good News of the love of God in Jesus Christ. I think the program does a good job of sowing the seeds of the Gospel. The staff here are apostles – ones who are sent to tell the Good News. And that news comes not only in the words that are spoken and the songs that are sung here, but more importantly in the love that counselors show every moment to every camper. It’s the love that is shown for the food on the table, of which there is enough for seconds for all who ask. It’s shown in the respect that the camp insists is the right of every camper, a respect that some campers here have perhaps never felt before. The work that Cross Roads is doing is hard work – it’s really difficult to be “on” nearly 24 hours a day for an entire week, knowing that even one slip can be devastating to a child. I remember my own counselor days, and I frankly don’t know how I did it, with no time for myself sometimes little time to even think. But I think it was the community formed by the senior staff during staff training, and the communities we tried to form among our own cabins for the week or two we would be with our campers, that actually kept me uplifted and more or less sane. We’re working on that here, too, and that’s what Christina communities are doing all over, hopefully in more intentional rather than haphazard ways.
Mary Magdalene announced the Good News to the disciples. Her spirit – the spirit of a transformed life lived out so that others may also be transformed – lives on here in the lives and hearts of the counselors and staff and board and benefactors.
Chantblog has some nice music for today.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and of mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities and know you in the power of his unending life; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.