Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: St. Mary Magdalene

MP: Psalm 116 Zephaniah 3:14-20, Mark 15:47-16:7
EP: Psalms 30, 149, Exodus 15:19-21. 2 Cor 1:3-7

Mary of Magdala has always held a strong attraction for me among the saints we remember who lived and knew Jesus. She is, in fact, one of my favorites, and probably the favorite, the one I mention and think about the most.

There is a tremendous amount of lore, and fiction, about her. Fiction, because we just do not know that much about her, and substantive life-stories about her have been generated through the ages which, for some, have grown to be fact. What we do know about her is that she is one of the few women mentioned in all four Gospels. She was with Jesus for much, if not all, of his ministry. She was one of the witnesses to his death. And is credited with being the first person to whom the risen Christ revealed his glory. She is (as Holy Women, Holy Men says) "the first messenger of the resurrection."

There is no doubt in my mind of her love, faithfulness and desire to attend to Jesus' needs while he walked among us as human. She recognized something in him that she wanted to be a part. A faithful and reliable companion on the way, not looking for, or taking, the limelight. She was someone who was simply wanting to serve something she understood, at some deep part of her, as greater than herself. A companion and witness on the way to the establishment of a new life, a new world order, a new way to operate in this world.

She will remain a mystery. A mystery upon whom all sorts of things will continue to be projected, including by me. And I think that is okay, for those projections can help us define that to which we aspire.

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved,
Art: Night Sky Triptych, 2009, jfd+

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