Tuesday, July 21, 2009

June 22 - St. Mary Magdalene Day

     She never talked much, but she was strong, and when she looked at Jesus, you could see the gratitude and devotion in her clear brown eyes. Nothing was beneath her. If the disciples needed food, she cooked; if washing was needed, Mary Magdalene would gather up the clothes; she drew water from crowded, noisy public wells in town squares. What money and goods she had were given to make sure the message was spread. Her feet were as calloused and dirty from the miles they walked as any apostle. Mary was not timid; she could haggle in the marketplace with the best of them if the disciples needed provisions. The only time she became shy was if you asked her about her past... that time before Jesus gently touched her and brought her back to herself. Her eyes would drop to the ground, hidden behind a veil of dark lashes, and her voice would become soft, tentative. She would say only that it was Jesus’ voice that had called her back to life after years spent wandering in the darkness. Only his voice.

     When other disciples fled in fear, it was the women who stood as witnesses to their Lord’s agony, Mary among them. Grief and anger warred in her and steeled her determination that she would not leave him alone.

     One last thing to do at daybreak on Sunday… say good bye. Go to the garden… see the place, and then leave. One last act of love.

     He met Mary there. Her terrified eyes full of visions of lightning and angels and hope. The last of her strength and control lost, she collapsed and wept, shaking as she held onto his feet.

     “Mary, don’t be afraid… go… tell them!”

     Mary ran.

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