Thursday, July 22, 2010

The closest female Apostle of Jesus.

10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
16Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
(John 20:10-18)

Mary Magdalene is mentioned in the lists of Jesus’ female companions that appear in the four Gospels. Some believe that Mary Magdalene was an important figure among the female Apostles, perhaps even their leader and a member of Jesus’ inner circle.
The Scriptures do not say she was a prostitute, although that was the common understanding of her in my Roman Catholic school teachings. There is really no mention of her background in the Scriptures other than Jesus casting seven demons out of her. There is some thought that the word "demons" signify physical ailments and not demonic possession.
Mary Magdalene’s role in the canonical gospels is small; in noncanonical gospels like Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip and the Acts of Peter, she plays a prominent role, often asking intelligent questions when all the other disciples are confused. In these gospels, Jesus is depicted as loving her more than any of the others because of her understanding.
Mary Magdalene is not mentioned often in the canonical gospel texts, however, she does appear at key moments and has become an important figure for those interested in the role of women in early Christianity as well as in Jesus’ ministry. She accompanied him throughout his ministry and travels. She was a witness to his death, which according to Mark, appears to be a requirement in order to truly understand Jesus’ nature. She was a witness to the empty tomb and was instructed by Jesus to carry the news to the other disciples. The risen Jesus appeared to her first in all four cannonical gospels, signifying her importance to him and also as an indication of the importance of women in general to the ministry of Jesus.
Mary Magdalene is recognized as a Saint in the Catholic Church and the celebration of her feast day is July 22.

Peace and love,

"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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