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'Make your home in me'. Mary of Magdala. Meditation Day Thirteen

'Make your home in me'

Mary of Magdala, Meditation Day Thirteen

Studying the picture

The Gospel story of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha is here presented as an intimate scene by Jan Vermeer. Like other Dutch painters of his time, Vermeer chose to depict familiar scenes in the homes of ordinary people. Christ and the two women disciples form a close-knit family. They love each other’s company.

Christ said: “Make your home in me, as I have made mine in you” (John 15,4). Living in each other. He in you, you in him. Nestling in each other’s arms, in each other’s bodies. A deeply moving image, or a reality? I do not know how many down-and-outs there are in your neighbourhood. Have you never wondered when you draw the curtains on a stormy night or when the temperature drops way below zero, where these people would have to pass the coming night? To have a home to return to. Living not only with each other but in each other. Finding someone at home waiting for you. Who has prepared supper. Who says: “Take a rest, you need it.” And you have the same attitude towards him. When he comes home tired. When he comes with a request for help. When he wants you to be still and listen.

Christ in the house of Martha and Mary. Painting by J. Vermeer in the Netherlands (1632-75).

Click here or on the picture for an enlargement.


“Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty . . . .
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father
that you will bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.” (Jn 15,5-9)

Sr. Theresia Saers

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