Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"Those healed by Jesus were freed not only from sickness, sin, or evil, but more especially from the potential self-centeredness of the suffering. Often they became faithful disciples who ministered in turn to others. Mary Magdalene, witness to the death of Jesus and first public witness to the risen Christ, is a vivid example."

Magnificat Monthly, July 2009 p. 305-306

Any society loves its gossip. I think it's why Mary Magdalene is still at the center of controversy thousands of years after her death. Songs, books, films and folklore continue to spread rumors about the nature of the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, using revisionist history and overly-assumptive scientific or sociological "analysis of evidence" to back up their truckloads of bull-hooey.

Here it is in a nutshell: Mary Magdalene wasn't some complex historical figure with a mysterious role in Jesus' inner circle. Mary was very simple. She was a woman who got caught up in sin and put her soul in a state of danger. Scripture tells us that Jesus cast seven demons from Mary Magdalene after he rescued her from being stoned to death. He gave her a whole new life apart from her former worldly station, and restored her full humanity. He saved her from herself: she got a second chance.

Jesus neither condemned nor enslaved her; Jesus freed her from all that she had done, from what she allowed herself to become. So why can't we seem to get past her past? When we even consider it possible that those assumptions society would have us believe regarding the nature of Jesus and Mary's relationship could be true, aren't we still chaining Mary to that worldly station from which Jesus long ago delivered her? We might as well be standing before her with a rock in our hand and our arm cocked back, ready to send her to her death.

"You who are without sin, cast the first stone."

From today's meditation in Magnificat Monthly:

...we can well say that [Mary Magdalene] loved Christ, that she loved him with all the force of her being. This love was wise and pure, it obeyed. What is more, all the saints have wished to die for Christ, which is a physical proof of love far more violent and convincing than any other. Mary Magdalene's love of Christ went to the bitter end and that is why it was pure.

Father Raymond-Leopold Bruckberger, O.P.

Magnificat Monthly, July 2009 p. 314

Mary followed the Lord with all her being, right up that hill to Calvary. In her great love and gratitude to the One who saved her from certain death, she courageously witnessed His greatest act of love that would save the rest of us from certain death and would give us all a second chance.

May we all abandon the enslavement of the world and live right there with Mary Magdalene in true freedom on the hill at Calvary.

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