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Theology Tuesday for
Sunday, August 1st
, 2021

 

Scripture: Mark 16: 1-11
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 

 

This week, we move into the New Testament in our series, Faces of Our Faith. Our model of faith this week, is Mary Magdalene. I invite us to expand our conversation about Mary Magdalene. This may be difficult especially since we are using a familiar text which describes Easter Morning. We are so used to hearing this text in the Easter context with Mary Magdalene being an almost secondary character that we may miss how significant her ministry in that moment really is.

Mary Magdalene is one of the most well-known disciples of Jesus. She appears in all four Gospels and is mentioned 12 times in the New Testament Gospels. "Magdelene" most like refers to the city, Magdala, located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. 

What we know about Mary Magdalene is that Jesus cast out seven demons. She was a direct witness to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. 
She is NOT a penitent prostitute as tradition has held her to be. The New Testament does not support this theory. 
And last but not least, The Gospel of Mary is attributed to her. This is the only Gospel attributed to a woman. It was found in Egypt in 1896.
Mary's largest contribution to the faith happens on Easter morning. She is one of the first to see, to experience the Risen Lord. However, as the Gospel of Mark tells us, when she shares this good news with her fellow disciples, they would not believe her.
As one commentator asks of this moment, "Why are we so cynical? Is our cynicism an effort to check our sources? None of us want to be taken in by a ruse, so I understand the viewpoint of a doubting Thomas. I understand why the followers disbelieved Mary. I would have wanted proof as well, especially if I was ashamed of my behavior, as they surely were. But why did she believe? ...Seeing is believing. Believing without seeing is a truly human failing that God asks us to overcome. It is the failing of the followers of Jesus who come to realize that Jesus, whom they betrayed days earlier, is, in fact, who he says he is. He is, in fact, who they have always believed he was."

My question for this week...How do you know that you have experienced the Risen Lord in your life? How does this strengthen your faith without relying on "seeing is believing?"

This is an informative, brief overview of who Mary Magdele is as a saint of the Church. 
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