Mary Magdalene, Sin and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

2000 years ago, Mary Magdalene was a great sexual sinner who accepted Jesus’ compassionate call to repentance and conversion. To repent is to accept in humility the wrongness of your lifestyle and to be full of contrition, having been convicted of the offence sin inflicts on God who is love and who alone is good. Repentance also helps us finally accept the truth of the self-inflicted nature of the suffering and damage sin causes in our own lives. Repentance is God’s big idea and is a powerful example of the mercy of God at work. It gives us all a merciful chance to make a fresh start by putting things right and restoring our friendship with our maker. The cross of Jesus powerfully rights all our wrongs.

Many people look at the cross and are untouched because they believe there is no wrong in the way they live. Many are even convinced of their own goodness and see no need for the saving power of the cross. As we gaze at the image of Mary contemplating the torn body of Jesus hanging from the cross out of love for sinners like you and me, all she can see is the love of God before her eyes. She is forever grateful that God, who is love, has shown her a way out of a damaging lifestyle of sexual sin. I thank God for her wonderful example.

2000 years later, the saving power of the cross is still working to give us a way out of our freely chosen problematic and sinful lifestyles. I am forever grateful that I was given a chance to accept Jesus’ compassionate call to conversion and repentance as he could see the self-inflicted misery of the lifestyle I was living on the gay scene. In our time, wrong and immoral ideas about the role and purpose of sex in our lives is the cause of great misery and suffering for many. The Cross of Jesus is the solution to all these ills but will not work if people (of all sexual persuasions) continue to treat sex as a divine right and a recreational pleasure, freely choosing to use their bodies as objects of lust. The moral problem with this kind of sex is that it causes people to use others as a means to an end.

So whenever you gaze at the at the bloodied body of Jesus hanging pitifully from a cross – are you moved with love, gratitude and devotion as Mary Magdalene was – for the cross is surely the power of God onto salvation.

John Cassidy
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

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