Devotion for July 22, 2020

Some women [were with Jesus] who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. (Luke 8:2-3)

Mary Magdalene, a New Testament saint we commemorate today, shows us how important women were during Jesus’ itinerant ministry. Mary and a number of other women of significance supported Jesus and the apostles out of their financial means. These women were generous. Their generosity was inspired and motivated by the Savior’s love for them, for the truth they heard preached, and for the rescue mission the Lord God had embarked on in Jesus Christ.

We don’t know too much about Mary from this passage, but it does seem like she had a consistent battle with the darkness. She had seven demons, whether at one time or over a period of time we don’t know, and that fact alone would send a lesser person running away, but not Jesus. Jesus enters this woman’s life, as He does all his beloved brothers and sisters predestined for salvation, frees her from Satan’s tyranny, and in heart-felt response supports the ministry out her own means.

Like all the saints, we can learn from their pious example. Some saints challenge us to a deeper life of prayer. Some saints show us the joy of witnessing in the face of hostility. And other saints, like Mary, show us how important our own generosity is for the sake of the kingdom. Preaching must be done. Children must be catechized. The Sacraments must be administered. You never know how God may use your generosity for the glory of His holy name!

LET US PRAY: Gracious Lord, the heavens are Yours and the earth is Yours also. The World and all that is in it is Yours; You have founded it all (Psalm 89:11). Though You need nothing from us and that Your kingdom comes with or without our help, continue to fill my mind and heart to remember how blessed I am to be a part of that kingdom here and now and eternally. Amen.

Rev. Christopher Johnson