Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of my favourite saint, Mary Magdalene, after receiving the appropriate permission from Roman authorities to have our Red Letter Day on the Sunday instead of having the normal Sunday readings.
I could have danced in the aisles for joy at how wonderful the whole Eucharistic Celebration was yesterday — from the hymns, two of which were specifically about Mary Magdalene with beautiful tunes, the chanted readings, and the Spirit-filled sermon by Fr. Francis Donnelly, who can extemporaneously expound on readings with such wisdom and confidence. Then more great fellowship in the parish hall below, with sandwiches, muffins, fruit, cheese, German meatloaf and other goodies, even a special gluten free table for us gluten sensitive types. Even the clean-up was fun, with many hands making the work go fast and providing opportunities for more socializing.
And the translation of the RSV of what I had always known from the King James Version as "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…" was (sorry if this is not exact, but I don't have an RSV at home, but now I'm going to get one!) "Do not hold me."
I looked it up in my Jerusalem Bible (which helps for those times when I can't make sense of the KJV) and it translates this as "Do not cling to me…"
So of course, he embraced her outside the tomb, but she would not let go.
Fr. Francis Donnelly, CC, explained this to mean that once Jesus ascended to the Father he would be with her — and all of us — always.
And how present He was with us yesterday.
Fr. Francis has been assigned to serve at the Companions of the Cross' Catholic Charismatic Centre in Houston at the end of the summer. Our loss. Houston's gain. What a blessing he has been for us in Ottawa. I hope he will look in on the Ordinariate folks down there and bring lots of encouragement and joy with him!