July, the month we celebrate the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, often brings to my mind the above quote from Sister Pat Walsh (RIP), who was a special part of our congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. It is a quote I first heard while participating in a retreat that Sister Pat was conducting with the team at Emmaus House where I have returned many times with others in my ministries.
Mary Magdalene – the first to preach the Good News of the Resurrection – Apostle to the Apostles – Patron of our Dominican Order – causes me to reflect upon my own call to preach as well as the variety of ways we are all called to preach! She was not a “preacher” in the formal definition of the term, but one whose fervor for the Word she encountered while Jesus walked upon the earth impelled her to proclaim that Good News with her life. Mary was changed by her personal encounter with Jesus, for she had “seen the Lord” and opened her heart to his message of love, hope, compassion, and redemption both pre- and post-resurrection.
Both this feast as well as the Sister Pat’s words call out to us, inspiring and assuring us that “we are the Word of God”—a word vital to be preached in the worlds we live and minister in each day. We too have “seen the Lord” and will continue to encounter him as long as our unique and special time on this planet permits. Let us be the midwives of the Good News entrusted to each of us, preachers in our one-of-a-kind way—with hearts open to the urging of the Spirit, striving to bring to others the promise of love, hope, compassion, and peace that Jesus has summoned his followers past and present to proclaim.
May each of us give witness to that Word, never to be duplicated or replicated, setting our stone into the beautiful mosaic of faith, bonded together through the love of our God and the preaching of our lives.
The following links offer additional reflections:
The Word – Daily audio homilies from the Order of Preachers
Video and text of Catholic women theologians preaching on the lectionary readings for Sundays
– Sister Nancy Richter, OP
Sister Nancy has been Campus Minister at Albertus Magnus High School, Bardonia, NY. On August 1, 2022, she will begin her service as a member of Dominican Sisters of Sparkill Leadership Team.