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Women of the Bible: Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene, a Woman Impassioned for Jesus

She came from Magdala. Her impassioned quest led her far from herself, from her identity and her community. Mary Magdalene lost her soul and sank into complete evil and depravity. Luke speaks in a very dark way about the enslave-
ment of this woman «from whom seven demons were expelled». (Lk. 8, 2) and who then followed Jesus through towns and villages. This Gospel emphasizes her radical liberation and the disciple’s vocation to which she was called and which made her equal to the twelve.

She was a favoured witness of his teachings and of his healings; having greatly suffered, she had a sharp perception and was able to live with both her littleness and the essential. Traditionally she is portrayed as the forgiven sinner shedding tears at Jesus’ feet. Whatever the case, Marie Magdalene left her former life behind in order to grasp the Love that would never let her down. Like the Beloved in the Song of Songs, she looked for “the one that her heart loved”. (Song 3, 1-3) She accompanied him from village to village;, she consecrated all her goods to him and was near him during his sorrowful journey At the foot of the cross, she remained faithful, standing near the Immaculate Mother, whose distress and compassion she shared.

The day after the Sabbath, she wanted to pay homage to his tenderness one last time by bringing spices for his burial preparation. Blinded by her sadness and by her search for the past, she did not realize that the stone having been rolled away was a sign of God’s passage. Jesus, the Risen Lord, called her. To meet the Living Lord, she acted like the Beloved in the Song of Songs; she went beyond the signs of his presence and allowed herself to turn away from the tangible and towards the spiritual. There, in the heart of her heart, Jesus led her to be born fully to Life by calling her by a new name that she alone knew (Rev. 2, 17), a name in which she would discover the traits and the fire of the Beloved. Henceforth, Marie Magdalene would lead her brothers to the new upheaval caused by the Lord who goes before us in our day to day lives.

Mary Magdalene, you proclaim before all women that irreversible Love chases away the demons that bind us; that there is no real love except the one purified by great mercy; that the ardor of the search leads to unique intimacy wherein the Risen Lord internally transforms the person he meets; that even before speaking of him, the person transmits the joy of resurrection; that the joy of the meeting you desperately searched for, holding fast to the past, is given to you differently in the mission of today, -“I have seen the Lord, and this is what he told me!” In the garden of Love, prayer and commitment are lived with the same breath, bearer of the divine!

Word of the Lord: Lk. 8, 1-3; Jn. 19, 25-26; Jn. 20; 1-18

Céline Comeau, sjsh


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