Christ’s disciples included some women, among them Mary Magdalene—who was the first to announce Jesus’ Resurrection to the Apostles. She would also be the first person to whom the resurrected Jesus appears. For these reasons, she is referred to as the Apostle to the Apostles.
Jesus healed Mary Magdalene from seven demons (Luke 8:2). I don’t know anyone who doesn’t wrestle with demons in their life. And, there are some, I believe, that only Jesus can remove. Mary Magdalene, once healed, became a fervent disciple of Jesus, staying close, knowing He was all she needed. Mary Magdalene possessed a faith strong enough to afford her the courage to stand at the foot of the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion. She accompanied Him not only when He blessed her with prayers answered but in His darkest hour. She never ceased to trust in His promise of Heaven and to bring good in every situation (Romans 8:28).
How do we accompany Jesus?
I try to stay close to Jesus through the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist in Mass and Adoration. As St. Augustine explained, the Sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual graces.” Adoration feels so tangible, the grace palpable, a peace truly beyond understanding. In my time before the Blessed Sacrament, I have experienced remarkable moments of clarity and wisdom in my faith.
Jesus has healed me in so many facets of my life. He’s filled empty crevices and crevasses with hope, love, joy, and an abundance of gifts of grace. I’ve recovered from physical afflictions, some rather miraculous, but those pale in comparison to the gratitude and joy experienced when Jesus healed my spiritual, emotional, and mental wounds.
There are times as well when my prayers were answered differently, according to God’s plan and not mine. Thorns of chronic illness I have often begged for Jesus to remove but yet remain. St. Paul spoke about the thorn in his side, asking God three times to remove it, yet it remained (2 Cor 12:1-10). It remained to protect Paul so he would boast only about what God did in his life and not fall into pride or forget he could do nothing without God.
“I was once lost, but now I’m found,” could be sung about everyone who has said yes to follow Jesus. Even those who are faithful followers of Jesus have moments where they need to come closer and be healed. We, like St. Paul, have all suffered thorns we’ve begged the Lord to remove; yet when we surrender our will and accept our circumstances, we can experience the freedom that comes from not being healed and still loving the Lord. We accompany Him as true disciples simply for the hope of Heaven.
Feature Image Credit: Vytautas Markūnas SDB, cathopic.com/photo/29916-worship-prayer