April 28, 2023
“It was Mary of Magdala….” Luke 24:10
Mary of Magdala. First named in the list of women who came to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Throughout history, Mary of Magdala has been significantly misunderstood and maligned. Plagued by misrepresentation, she has captured the imagination and ire of those within the Christian tradition and beyond. Over the next few days, we will explore who she was in relationship to Jesus, the apostles, and the early Jesus movement. We will explore what we know about her from scripture and what has been found in other sources. This will assist in telling us more about the significance of her role in our faith and story. In this, we will also learn of some of the ways in which Mary Magdalene has been confused with others, vilified, and glorified. We will touch on how she has been left out of much or silenced by a tradition that was not ready or able to have a woman hold authority and leadership. We will see how she persisted as one with a significant place and presence in the Risen Life: The Way of Jesus.
Mary of Magdala was a woman who was healed of seven demons. She was part of the group that accompanied Jesus in his preaching, teaching, and healing ministry. Our first introduction comes in chapter 8 in the Gospel of Luke: “Jesus was accompanied by the twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and illnesses – Mary, known as the ‘woman of Magdala’ (who had been possessed by seven evil spirits), Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s agent, Susanna, and many others who used to look after his comfort from their resources.”
She had been cured, she came from the town of Magdala, she became a follower of Jesus (a disciple), and, with others, provided “resources” to look after Jesus.
How does this brief description model a faith journey? Sometimes in the shortest biography of a saint, the deepest of paths can be found.
Where do I come from?
How have I been healed/transformed/set free?
When did I become a follower of Jesus?
How do I provide comfort to Jesus from the resources of my life?
Prayer: Holy One, thank you for this friend of Jesus who followed and believed. Help me to be like Mary of Magdala: healed, faithful and courageous, steadfast, and generous. Even when maligned, may love and life endure. Amen. Alleluia.