Mary Magdalene:Festival

This sculpture by Guzon Borglon is called 'Rabboni' and portrays Mary Magdalene as she turns from Jesus' empty tomb and reaches out to the man she supposed to be the gardener. When he addressed her by name, 'Mary', she responded 'Rabboni' which means Teacher. This gospel story from John 20 is read at Easter, but also today 22 July as this is the festival of Mary Magdalene.

In searching for images to use for Mary Magdalene it was obvious how persistent are the false ideas about her. She was not, for example, a penitent prostitute, although much art shows her as such.  In 'Who was the real Mary Magdalene?' I wrote about who she was not and who she was.

I see her as a role model for Christian discipleship and evangelism, someone who told what she had seen and heard of Jesus. Jan Richardson has a lovely poem in her post Easter Sunday: Seen . It expresses so well the depths of Mary Magdalene's experience, the mystery of resurrection and new creation, and her commission from Jesus to 'go and tell'. Here it is:

Seen :A Blessing for Easter Sunday

You had not imagined 
that something so emtpy 
could fill you 
to overflowing

 and now you carry 
the knowledge 
like an awful treasure, 
or like a child 
that roots itself 
beneath your heart: 

how the emptiness 
will bear forth 
a new world 
that you cannot fathom 
but on whose edge 
you stand. 

So why do you linger? 
You have seen 
and so you are 
already blessed. 
You have been seen 
and so you are 
the blessing. 

There is no other word 
you need. 
there is simply 
to go 
and tell. 
There is simply 
to begin.



Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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