Monday, July 23, 2012


Sr Mary Charles McGough - "Mary Magdalene Announces the Resurrection"
Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ 

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. 

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid. 

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’  (My emphases)

(Mark 15:37-16:7)
As you see, I highlighted the words in the Gospel about the Magdalene and women.  Why were the vital roles of the women who followed Jesus, the women who ministered in the early church, and the major role of Mary Magdalene as an apostle diminished for so many centuries?  If you say Mary Magdalene is not an apostle because she was not one of The Twelve, then there is the problem of Paul, the writer of the Epistles, who claimed for himself the title of apostle and is known today as Apostle to the Gentiles.  Although the role of women is being reexamined, prejudice against women in leadership remains alive and well today in certain parts of the church.  Why?  Why is Mary Magdalene so often unacknowledged as an apostle in the Western church, although she receives her rightful place in the Eastern church?  An apostle is a messenger, one who is sent on a mission.  Mary Magdalene was sent to the disciples to deliver the message, "Christ is risen!"  Is there a greater message?   

Collect of the Day: St. Mary Magdalene
Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed of all our infirmities and know you in the power of his endless life; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
Here's the link to the backstory of the of the lovely icon written by Sr Mary Charles McGough.

H/T to Josh Thomas at The Daily Office for calling attention to the icon.


Russ Manley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ Manley said...

Good points, good questions. The short answer to which is, of course, that the scriptures were written by (straight) men for (straight) men. Which when you really grasp that reality, explains a lot.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Russ, exactly. And for centuries the history of the church was written by straight(?), celibate(?) men.

Russ Manley said...

And ruled too by those question-mark men. Which also explains a helluva lot.