22 July, Thursday — Remain Teachable

Jul 22 – Memorial for St. Mary Magdalene

There is actually very little solid information about her, and both scholars and traditions differ on the interpretation of what we do know.

She was a friend and follower of Jesus. Filled with sorrow over her sin, she anointed Christ, washed his feet with her hair. He exorcised seven demons from her. She was the first to have been visited by the Risen Christ. While there are several arguments about her life after the Crucifixion, the Greek Church maintains that she retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin Mary and lived there the rest of her life.

Some things we do know for certain – Mary wasn’t Jesus’ wife or mistress, she wasn’t the mother of His child, and she didn’t found a royal dynasty or separate branch of Christianity.

2 Cor 5:14-17
Jn 20:1-2,11-18

Jesus said, “Mary!” She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbuni,” — which means Master.

I recently returned from an extended overseas work stint. The opportunity to leave Singapore for a change of scenery was a really timely blessing as I had started to feel worn down and fatigued by the demands of having to live in this state of perpetual COVID-19 alert.

Being with a new group of people, revisiting old work skills, living in a different environment, and having a vastly different routine did wonders for my sleep quality, my desire to exercise, and my mood in general. Humans truly are social creatures and they require constant mental and physical upkeeping to continue functioning at their best.

Over the course of the trip, I encountered many opportunities for learning. If we look closely enough, we will humbly realise that there is something to learn from everyone and every situation. Teaching is not always explicit. It is through quietly observing others that we can determine the critical learning moments in each scenario.

I wonder how many people have forgotten the joys of experiencing and learning something new. As we get older, and as the pandemic forces us to rethink our interactions within our communities, there is a real risk of becoming recluses cut-off from what we need to thrive as people.

Brothers and sisters, as tempting as it may be to remain in your comfort zone, I worry that a prolonged period there will lead to atrophy on many levels. I pray that you will all have the opportunity to be invigorated by new circumstances in your lives and to see yourselves both as student and teacher at every opportunity.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gregory Mathew)

Prayer: Help us O Lord, to see the wonders of your creation and to appreciate all the good you have done for us.

Thanksgiving:  We thank you Jesus, for today and all its joys, difficulties, and mysteries.

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