The optional first reading for today’s Feast of St. Mary Magdalene is taken from a letter of St. Paul (2 Cor 5:14-18). The Apostle tells us that Christ died for us so that we could live for Him out of love for Him. His redeeming death has made us new creations.
This is a great encouragement! How often do we feel anything but “new”? As the years pass and we age, we begin to slow down, grow set in our ways, become ensconced in the drudgery of the day to day, and get worn down by life. How easy it is to miss the exciting newness of the world around us or become jaded about such things because of life experiences. Yet the one who is “ever ancient, ever new” (from Augustine’s great Confessions) renewed us in baptism and continues to offer this renewal whenever we take advantage of the graces available through the sacraments and prayer. If we ever get down about where we are in life, we would do well to recall the teaching of St. Paul. We are “in Christ” through baptism and we must stay close to Him through prayer, Scripture, and liturgy. In the unhappy event that we should separate ourselves from God (or have been away from Him for far too long), He always welcomes us back, regardless of the seriousness of our transgressions, through the sacrament of Reconciliation. If we daily renew our commitment to the Lord, this recurring newness we have been gifted will spill over and help others to realize the newness that can be given to them or renewed in them. This is Good News that must be shared.