Preface. Why this text was written
from The Alabaster Jar by Theresia Saers
There are many legends concerning Mary, otherwise called the Magdalene. Moreover, through the ages a great many paintings and sculptures as well as places of worship have been created in her honour. It would therefore seem that the Biblical references to this outstanding character have been sources of inspiration for all generations of Christians.
My own interest in Mary Magdalen dates from 1976. The chance request of a parishioner to think of a fitting preparation for Easter led me to think of a meditation on the Resurrection stories, in which her name occurred. As it happened I had been reading those same texts in my grammar school class and my pupils had been hugely interested. Each of them was happy at the end of the lesson to take home the New Testament (English version and obviously a handout to the military, left behind in our Dutch school after the occupation in the Second World War).
I widened my subject by adding the other references to Mary Magdalen that I found in the Bible and devised a dramatic monologue to get the inspiration across. I found my audience spellbound and deeply moved. Since then I have repeated this performance in many places, with Mary Magdalen recounting the stories about Jesus Christ. It appeared to be a perfect medium and men and women, Protestants and Roman Catholics alike, were deeply touched.
I started a quarter of a century ago with the image of Mary as a repentant sinner. The more I meditated, however, the more I found I could not hold on to this view. I began to see her as the same woman as Mary of Bethany, with a strong character, great faith and an insatiable thirst for spiritual food. I have no pretensions of being a Bible scholar, yet I would like to share my inspiration and observations with a wider audience through An Alabaster Jar.
© Theresia Saers
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