A woman with Spirit
Mary of Magdala. Meditation Day One
Studying the picture
This medieval altar panel depicts the mature Mary of Magdala. The inscription on the scroll says that she had been a sinner, but is now a saint.
In the background we see four scenes which form part of Marys traditional story:
Through the centuries Mary of Magdala has been an inspiration to women.
Medieval painting depicting Mary of Magdala.
Click here or on the picture for an enlargement.
When people hear the name Mary of Magdala, the first image that flashes across their inner eye will probably be the woman of the anointing. A woman generous with love. Generous with gratitude. An endearing and beautiful image . . . But is this all there was to Mary of Magdala?
Lukes gospel suggests twice that Mary had a sinful past. Whatever that past, - and who of us has a completely clean record? her actions after her first meeting with Jesus point to a spirited and proud person, one who is able to hold her own. This is a woman who does not run away when the authorities clamp down on Jesus and his followers. She follows him all the way to Calvary and is found standing beneath the cross. She is the prototype of a leader. It is evident from the gospels that she must have been able to organise a group of women to join her when she decided to follow this Rabbi Jesus. All four gospels are unanimous in pointing out how great her faith was, her solidarity with Jesus, and her readiness to be his witness.
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