Tonight, not only do we have the benefit of the intercession of San Sharbel, but we also have the feast of Saint Maria Magdalena, the apostle to the apostles.
Tonight, we hope that we again will be recipients of the healing power of Jesus. Our awareness of Maria Magdalena begins with the knowledge that her journey of faith began when she received healing at the hands of Jesus. And, because of that healing, she became a very, very dedicated disciple. Her perseverance with Jesus is the greatest, among all his disciples. She did not abandon him, even when the others ran away. She was there in the worst moments of the Passion.
And the fruit of this healing? The fruit of this perseverance? Maria Magdalena became the first one to experience the resurrection. And she became the first to announce it to others. She was the first missionary. And, for a very brief moment, before she announced the good news to others, she was the only member of the church.
Usually on Thursdays here at the parish we celebrate the Divine Mercy of Jesus. But our healing Mass tonight is another extension of that mercy. In fact, the life of Maria Magdalena is a wonderful expression of the need for healing that is met with the abundant mercy of Jesus.
May our need for healing also encounter the mercy of Jesus, tonight and always.