Mary’s feast day was yesterday (Tuesday 22nd July) and I began the day reading the various online posts about her and then read John 20, his account of Mary at the empty tomb. This reminded me of John Philip Newell’s reference to this in his amazing book, “The Rebirthing of God”, where he reflects on John 20:17 specifically.
Mary’s image in church history had been marred by accusations and misunderstandings, her memory abused and ridiculed by some factions but much like women today, she has borne their sin and remained strong. I can resonate with her and women do resonate with her regardless of culture. She is a Woman.
She never left Him; when the men deserted Jesus, she stayed with him, held his Mother (our Mother), held his bloodied feet, kissed him and cradled him. Christ trusted her with His resurrection memory.
She represents us today and I pray we honour her in our lives too. Malcolm Guite writes of her in his sonnet ‘St Mary Magdalene’, and it is the line, “the broken alabaster of your heart, revealed to Him alone the hidden door..” that touched me deeply.
His reference to her heart represents mine and I believe our hearts have to be broken in order to understand Him more deeply, and through his action, he gives us great strength to continue each time we are broken. He is our glory and our strength witnessed to us by the Women of the New Testament and in particular, Mary Magdalene, our epitome of unequalled love and strength. She is my pillar.