She’s sorry, let her In

Friends in Christ, in the gospel today, St. Mark tells us that when Mary Magdalene went to report to the disciples that she had seen the Risen Lord, they did not believe her. Part of their doubt may be due to her background.
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The gospels tell us that Jesus had once driven 7 demons out of Mary Magdalene. For good reason, she has been presumed to be a ‘woman of the street’ – the sinner, who washed Jesus feet and whom he forgave of her sins.
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She is a representative of the sinner who has been restored – redeemed by Christ and given a second chance. It is only some so-called modern scholars who try to insist that Mary Magdalene was not a sinner. But even St. Gregory the Great said she was the sinner who converted.
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The point is, here she is at the tomb, this former sinner who has been given the privilege by Our Lord to see him there, and bring the news of the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene is there in the gospel as a testament to the power of Christ’s redemption.
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Veneration and love of Mary Magdalene flourished for many centuries among the Catholic faithful, as well as in art and liturature. This is because of how much hope she gives us weak sinners, that nothing is ever hopeless.
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In 1871, English novelist Henry Kingsley wrote a little poem about Mary Magdalene. In the poem, she has come to the gate of heaven, which in this case is guarded by St. Michael. (here paraphrased)
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Magdalene at Michael’s gate,
she fumbled at the latch;
and on the thorn bush sang the blackbird, “Let her in! Let her in!”
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“Have you seen the wounds?” said Michael, the wounds to Christ?
“Do you woman, know your sin?”
“It is evening,” sang the blackbird, “Let her in! Let her in!”
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“I have seen the wounds,’ she said.
And I know my sin.”
“She knows it well,” sang the blackbird, “Let her in! Let her in!”
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“You bring no offerings,” said St. Michael, “Except your sins.”
And the blackbird sang, “She is sorry, she is sorry, Let her in! Let her in!”
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And when he had sung himself to sleep,
and night then did begin,
ONE came and opened Michael’s gate,
and Magdalene went in.
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That ‘One’ who opened the gate for her – that’s Jesus, he opens to all repentant sinners who come to the gate of heaven.

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