Mary Magdalene

I entered my local grocery store this afternoon. ( Running a bazillion errands with the rental car this weekend. )

The floral and gift shop, if you turn towards the right, heading towards the fruit and vegetable section, is the first thing that you see.

It’s currently full of spring flowers and Easter items.

As I walked by that section, I thought of Mary Magdalene. You see, I have never in my life attending this, that or the other Protestant church, ever heard a sermon about her. The Catholics venerate Mary the Mother, so at least they have some focus on the feminine, but it dawned on me that I’d never experienced that in any of the Protestant churches that I’d attended over my lifetime.

Isn’t that extraordinary?  The most stalwart and faithful friend to Jesus, present at the cross and the tomb…Mary Magdalene…nary a word about her. It might be different in your case, not sure.

Makes one think.

I don’t know about you but there are plenty of women in the Bible that I know about from READING the Bible but I don’t recall sermons about them. It’s been very male-oriented in my experience in the church.

Food for thought in this Easter season:)


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20 Responses to Mary Magdalene

  1. Judy says:

    The first person Jesus talked too and told her to get the others and all meet in Galilee. Woman power! The Catholics believe Mary the Mother also was raised from the dead and ascended alive into Heaven–uncorruptded . We Protestants revere her, but we don’t go that far. Who knows? Maybe we will someday.

    • Jeanne says:

      Just to clarify – Catholics believe Mary was taken body and soul into heaven at the time of her death. She was not “raised from the dead” in the sense that Jesus was, but more like any other person who dies and goes to heaven. We believe this because her body carried and bore Jesus, making her the new “Ark of the Covenant” and so her body should be preserved from corruption. This is also due to the belief that as the bearer of Jesus, Mary was healed of original sin at her conception, thus was without the effects of original sin and able to enter heaven body and soul. In no way are Catholics supposed to worship Mary. We also have a large number of women saints who are frequently taught about and serve as role models for women:)

  2. Kim says:

    I was raised Roman Catholic, but married in and currently belong to a Presbyterian church- lots of differences, that is for sure! It’s hard for me sometimes to keep it all straight! The big things are the same, so I guess that’s good, but so many of the traditions and stories from my childhood are non-existent in my new faith.

  3. Dewena says:

    you’re right, now that I think about it. Unless it was a speaker at a women’s function, there was very little focus from the pulpit.

  4. Mimi says:

    Such an interesting topic, Deb! You’re right–I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon about Mary Magdalene. She’s such a figure of intrigue but I’ve never heard her discussed much. Thanks for giving me something to ponder this week…

  5. Friend, you know how to stir up the conversation don’t you. :-) I’ve been a Catholic all my life, but the absolute first thing I thought of reading this is the feeling that strong men are leaders and strong women are categorized with a whole different label. :-)

  6. Elizabeth Morgan says:

    Deb, I love the way your mind works! You think of interesting ideas that so many people overlook. And you are so right! Pastors have neglected this dear woman, Mary Magdalene. Seems like their male egos could stretch just a little bit to preach on this woman who has such a valued place in Scripture. Judy was right, she was the first person Jesus talked to after the resurrection and He sent her with the message to tell the disciples. What an honor! Scripture tells us that her background before coming to Christ wasn’t anything to ‘brag about’, but she sincerely repented and loved Christ dearly. She believed that He was the promised Messiah. The Bible tells how she washed Christ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Jesus told the critical Pharisees that “the person who has been forgiven much, loves much”. There are some Christian books about great women of the Bible. Wonder how our pastors would respond if we sweetly asked them to preach some sermons about women in the Bible? Have a good day. Spring will be here soon, Liz

  7. Doreen Krajzel says:

    How very odd this is, for the past week or so I have been thinking of Mary Magdalene. Wondering what it felt like to have Jesus forgive her her sins and she followed him ever after. I love it that Jesus told the crowd, ye who hath no sin throw the first stone! He sure told them, lol. Have a great week end. Hugs, Doreen

  8. Karin says:

    You are so right. Still very male domination here. I grew up Lutheran, with Catholic influence (my grandmother was a devoted Catholic) and now living in the States I attend a Methodist church. But you are so, so right!

  9. Joyce says:

    I just returned home from Mass. The homily was on the Gospel reading of Jesus transfigured in the presence of Peter, James and John. That led to mention of their eventual abandonment of Him during Holy Week.
    Interesting that Mary Magdalene never denied him; she followed his journey to the cross and beyond, remaining a comfort to His mother.

    • Leiah says:

      Joyce – I immediately thought of today’s Homily as well. In no means do I want to sound irreverent, but it’s comforting to know woman have always surrounded themselves with a group of ‘girl friends’ they can count on.

  10. Debbie H says:

    You are right, few sermons about women in the Bible in pulpits of Protestant churches. It is getting better, but not much. As a female pastor I have referenced Mary Magdalene at Easter, how women were the first witnesses to carry the Good News. I even did a sermon on Debra one time. But for the most part I never thought about preaching on the women in the Bible. Maybe because there is not a lot written about them. Let’s face it, the Bible was written during a male dominate time and most Christian writers who get published are male. I found that the Catholic faith is less female discriminating when it comes to spiritual writings (Saints) even though they do not allow them to be leaders of the church.

    Thanks for making me think outside the box.

  11. I was doing some reading recently about the orthodox faith (I’m Presbyterian), and noticed all the saints’ days that are celebrated, including many, many women. There is a lot of information online about these saints through the ages, often very inspiring stories.
    And, Deb, we have a wonderfully wise and strong woman we’ve been named after, Deborah the judge.

  12. Grandma Kc says:

    You are very right! I found a book for children that was all about the women of the bible for one of our young friends — but they are few and far between.

  13. Janie Young says:

    Valerie Gross has a book called Magdala that I really thought was excellent. Mary Magdalene looked at in a different way, how powerful she could have been. It’s interesting. I sure look at her story differently wondering how things would have changed had she risen to any place of power in the Church.

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