Zeal and holy freedom – Mary Magdalene

 

 Correct with kindness and love
but also with zeal and holy freedom.
If you do not speak out,
if you do not sound the alarm
when it is needed,
you will be justly convicted
by your silence.

 

Today the Episcopal Church celebrates the life and work of Mary Magdalene. At least the life and work we think we know. In all these 2000+ years, her name and story have circled the Christian faith, calling for curiosity and attention. Her presence has been strengthening for some and, clearly threatening to others depending on Christianity’s perspective on women at the time.

I have always been intrigued. She must’ve had an important role in the spreading of the good news while Jesus was alive. She certainly was prominent in the discovery of his resurrection. And writings tell us that the disciples relied on her wisdom and advice.

People are drawn to understand more. Studies of ancient texts continue to reveal new and intriguing possibilities. (reference this sermon by Diana Butler Bass preached recently at the annual Wild Goose Festival. “All the Marys” – Diana Butler Bass)

As a woman with a disability and an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, I have always seen Mary as a symbol of determination and confidence. Her voice would be heard -her witness shared. An invitation and example for those of us who know how easy it is for voices to be silenced.

I look forward to this day every year. Taking time to find new images and re-reading the gospel written in her name, the only early text attributed to a woman.  The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

 It is good to take time for these things but St. Mary Euphrasia stirs me to remember that speaking out is my charge, never to be accused of silence when the alarm is needed.

 


Quote: St. Mary Euphrasia
Painting of Mary Magdalene: Clare Elam

Stillness

 

I studied the bird, deeply impressed that she seemed to know instinctively that in stillness is healing.  I had been learning that too, learning that stillness can be a prayer that transforms us.


Quote: Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits

Image: Frances Dawson

Breaking silence

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.


Quote: Audre Lorde
Photo: Trevor Cole

shared from Gratefulness.org

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