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Nourished by Jesus' Word. Mary of Magdala, Meditation Day Five

Nourished by Jesus' Word

Mary of Magdala, Meditation Day Five

Studying the picture

We recognise this woman as the Magdalene because of the jar and also because of her long hair. The picture strikes us as rather modern and lacks much of the symbolism of many other paintings and sculptures in earlier times. Here we see a serene Mary of Magdala, youthful and strong.

The book Mary is holding is undoubtely Sacred Scripture. As she once sat at Jesus’ feet, now she continues to listen to his Word. It is clear that she is more meditating than reading.

I find the note on the desk relevant. A text of Saint Paul comes to mind. “It is plain that you are a letter from Christ, drawn up by us, and written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on the tablets of your living hearts” (2 Corinthians 3,3).

Mary of Magdala by Piero di Cosimo (1501). National Gallery of Rome.

Click here or on the picture for an enlargement.


Whatever Mary’s past had been, her present strength lies in her listen to Jesus’s words and allowing the Spirit to talk to her.

Mary needed to reflect and pray even though she was one of the earliest witnesses, earlier than Paul and the greatest contemporary witness to the people she ministered to. Only, -- in those days the witness of a woman was not legitimate! Mary does not care. She knows the truth.

What is important for you and me now? Are we reading and rereading the letter Christ wrote on the tablet of our own heart?

Sr. Theresia Saers

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