Tomorrow we celebrate our Holy and Glorious Patroness St Mary Magdalen, the chosen messenger to the Apostles.
The great problem is half our servers and most of the choir are away.
Actually we began our celebration on Sunday, anticipating her feast.
To help us out my friends those wonderful sisters have kindly agreed to come down to sing at our EF High Mass at 6.30pm.
Our Western tradition is that all of those women at the Lord's feet, the one who pours out costly ointment, the one who covers his feet with kisses and tears are the Magdalen, even Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, the one who chose the better part who sits at his feet.
I am tempted to see the woman caught in adultery is her too; what crueller thing to do than to get Jesus to condemn a woman who was once notorious but is now a disciple of Jesus.
She becomes a symbol of the Church and the faithful remnant of Israel, despised and rejected like Jesus himself, and yet delighting in his presence.
To be a follower of Jesus means to be a Magdalen, to weep over one's sins, to choose the better part and recognise Him and be united, with him.
I don't know if I am being over imaginative but there seem to be three stages to the Magdalen's relationship: weeping she shows us purgation, sitting and listening is about illumination and finally in the garden in her encounter with the Risen Lord she is united to him.
She is 'every disciple', we are all called to weep over our sins, then we are able to indeed choose the better part, to truly listen to Jesus, only then do we recognise him and are able to announce his Triumphant Rising.
Only then perhaps may we have the grace to suffer with him, for the legend is that after the Resurrection she lived the life of a penitent and contemplative, all was to prepare for that and was to prepare her for the day when she would see Jesus' Father and her Father, Jesus' God and her God.