On July 22 we commemorate the Holy Myrrhbearer Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles. Two hymns from the Praises of Matins honoring her are listed below.
YOU LOVED THE CREATOR OF ALL GOOD,
WHO IN HIS COMPASSION MADE OUR NATURE LIKE GOD.
YOU ZEALOUSLY FOLLOWED HIM, MARY, OBEYING HIS DIVINE COMMANDS!
COMING TO THE TOMB OF THE DELIVERER WEEPING,
YOU WERE THE FIRST TO SEE THE DIVINE RESURRECTION.
YOU WERE REVEALED AS A MESSENGER OF THE GOSPEL AS YOU CRIED:
REJOICE, FOR CHRIST IS RISEN!
AFTER THE DIVINE PASSION AND FEARFUL RESURRECTION OF THE SAVIOR, YOU HASTENED ON YOUR WAY AS A GLORIOUS DISCIPLE OF THE WORD. YOU ANNOUNCED EVERYWHERE THE PRECIOUS WORDS OF THE GOSPEL, DRAWING INTO YOUR NET MANY LED ASTRAY THROUGH IGNORANCE.
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We should observe, for one thing, the remarkable language with which our Lord greeted the apostles, when He first met them after His resurrection. Twice over he addressed them with the kindly words, “Peace be unto you.” We may dismiss as untenable, in all probability, the cold and cautious suggestion, that this was nothing better than an unmeaning phrase of courtesy. He who “spoke as never man spoke,” said nothing without meaning. He spoke, we may be sure, with special reference to the state of mind of the eleven apostles, with special reference to the events of the last few days, and with special reference to their future ministry. “Peace” and not blame–“peace” and not fault-finding–“peace” and not rebuke–was the first word which this little company heard from their Master’s lips, after He left the tomb.
The first actual appearance by Jesus that Luke mentions is later that day, when Cleopas and an unnamed disciple walked with a fellow traveler they later realized was Jesus. Mark 16 describes the same appearance as happening after the private appearance to Mary Magdalene. The gospels of Mark and Luke record that the rest of the disciples did not believe Mary’s report of what she saw, and neither Mary Magdalene nor any of the other women are mentioned by name in Paul’s catalog of appearances at 1 Cor 15:1 . Instead, Paul writes that Jesus “appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve”. Indeed, after her disbelieved first report of a resurrection vision, Mary Magdalene disappears from the New Testament. She is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles , and her fate remains undocumented.