SUNDAY 30 APRIL, 2017
DON’T WRITE ANYBODY OFF
“Jesus said unto her, Mary. She turned herself and said unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had spoken these things unto her”, (John 20:16-18).
In life, it is good not to write people off because no one knows what the Creator would make of a person’s life. God as a Creator knows the end from the beginning and so, His judgment are always true. In this meditation, we are confronted with a character in the person of Mary Magdalene whose past could have made people to easily write her off. But no, Jesus had a better idea and use of her. Mary Magdalene was the first to encounter Jesus shortly after His resurrection. For she had said: “Rabboni; which is to say, Master”.
Mary Magdalene literally translated as Mary the Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, was a Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles.
The Gospel of Luke says seven demons had gone out of her, and the longer ending of Mark says Jesus had cast seven demons out of her. She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present, and the witness in all four gospels of the empty tomb, the central fact of Jesus’ resurrection. She was also present two days later, immediately following the sabbath, when, according to all four canonical Gospels, [Matthew 28:1–8] [Mark 16:9–10] [Luke 24:10] [John 20:18] she was, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.
Ideas that go beyond the gospel presentation of Mary Magdalene as a prominent representative of the women who followed Jesus have been put forward over the centuries.
Interestingly, Mary was made an evangelist by the risen Jesus when He said: “go and tell my disciples I have gone to Galilee”, (Matthew 28:10). We notice that God will always make use of us no matter how weak we may seem to be. I think what is important is for one to make his/herself available for God’s use. So, those who make themselves available are to be used for His praise and glory.
Therefore, if God has not written you off, please do not write yourself off. Also, if people have written you off don’t accept their verdict, your maker knows your worth and value. And truly He will make use of you when the need arises. Please keep faith!
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,