Memorial Mary Magdalene 22nd July 2011

I wrote this post for Lent last year and am reposting it today for the Memorial  of Saint Mary Magdalene with this addition from Joan Chittister

An Icon for Our Century.
St. Mary Magdalene
Feast day—July22
It is Mary Magdalene, the evangelist John details, to whom Jesus first appears after the resurrection. It is Mary Magdalene who is instructed to proclaim the Easter message to the others. It is Mary Magdalene whom Jesus commissions to “tell Peter and the others that I have gone before them into Galilee.”

And, then, the scripture says pathetically, “But Peter and John and the others did not believe her and they went to the tomb to see for themselves.”

It is two thousand years later and little or nothing has changed. The voice of women proclaiming the presence of Christ goes largely unconfirmed. The call of women to minister goes largely unnoted. The commission of women to the church goes largely disdained.

Mary Magdalene is, no doubt about it, an important icon for the twenty-first century.

She calls women to listen to the call of the Christ over the call of the church.

She calls men to listen for the call of the Christ in the messages of women.

She calls women to courage and men to humility.

She calls all of us to faith and fortitude, to unity and universalism, to a Christianity that rises above sexism, a religion that transcends the idolatry of maleness, and a commitment to the things of God that surmounts every obstacle and surpasses every system.

Mary Magdalene is a shining light of hope, a disciple of Christ, a model of the wholeness of life, in a world whose name is despair and in a church whose vision is yet, still, even now, partial.

Repost of My Original Easter Lenten Reflection

Mary Magdalene:  was the archetypally feminine, imperfect woman who through her vulnerability and brokenness found her way to God,  was cleansed of seven demons, loved Jesus, was taught by him and went with him on his travels, especially during the last days of his life and  witnessed his Crucifixion and burial.

I like this image of her from a tapestry by John Nava in Los Angeles Cathedral. 

It seems more realistic than some of the ones that depict her with red hair and pale complexion!!

She was amongst the first women to find the empty tomb;

According to all four Gospels in the New Testament  she was the first woman to greet Jesus after His resurrection and was told to tell the other disciples that He had risen from the dead.

Some books that are worth a look and definitely more erudite than Dan Brown's  Da Vinci's Code :

Click here for a great BBC article  that debunks the myth of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and explains why she should be known as " the apostle to the apostles".

Click here for a crisp article from Apologetics Press that gives a good modern summary of what is known about her.

The link here written by Monte Asbury explains clearly the risk that Mary Magdalene was taking when she anointed Jesus in a social  setting that was mainly men only !!

There are many women friends I know who don't find it at all easy to relate to the Virgin Mary but who find Mary Magdalene much more accessible.

You can see National Geographic videos in five parts on the real Mary Magdalene made in 2008 below.

Each part is about ten minutes long.


                                                                              PART 2

                                                                             PART 3

                                                                                   PART 4

                                                                              PART 5

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