Mary Magdalene, sick with love for Jesus

Publish date 29-09-2022

by Anna Maria Del Prete

Mary Magdalene is present in the stories of the Resurrection. To her Jesus entrusts the task of announcing to the disciples that he is risen and awaits them in Galilee


In these Easter days it seems necessary to me to talk about Mary of Magdala. We often meet her in the stories of the Resurrection and, above all, Jesus entrusts to her the task of announcing to the disciples that he is risen and awaits them in Galilee. She, therefore, she is the apostle of the fundamental message for the disciples of all times: Christ is risen!

But who is Maddalena?

Luke introduces her by telling that "seven demons had come out of her" (Lk 8: 2): that is, she is a woman who "has experienced the unlimited power of Jesus in her own life" (Moltmann, The women Jesus met). We understand then with what dedication she followed him together with other women who assisted him in his itinerant life.

John also presents her in his Gospel, giving her a privileged position, valuing her as a woman on a double level: 1) witness of the resurrection of Jesus and first announcer of the Good News, 2) and as a woman who has rediscovered herself, her own human identity. in the relationship with Jesus that will come to the point of making her the announcer of his Resurrection. Role that does not cancel her being a woman; her face as a concrete person, with a unique and unrepeatable personal history, attributes to her a particular ecclesial function that emerges in the dialogue on that first Easter dawn. From Jesus healed and fascinated, she Mary Magdalene had followed him to the cross, where she had received him in her arms together with the few who had had the courage to prove herself to be her disciples.

Now she just has to go to her tomb, aware that with that death she has lost everything. She was possessed by seven demons, that is, she was gravely ill and marginalized from society. Only with her did Jesus return to live, "I am the way, the truth and the life" this affirmation of Jesus became a lived experience. "Whoever believes in me, even if he is dead, will live" (Jn 11:25). But now with that death she falls back into her solitude. She alone, she sobs and weeps near the empty tomb. "Why are you crying?" the two angels who appeared there "where the body of Jesus had been laid" ask her and the question was also asked again by the One whom she had considered her to be the gardener. "Maria!" Upon hearing her name, pronounced with particular sweetness, he recognizes her as her Jesus and life is reborn in her. «Rab-bunì» My Master! Jesus becomes for her that present reality that confronts her with her true identity and sends her towards the mission and towards the future of that life that will last forever. May this also be our experience of the Risen One, which does not arise from historical or theological reflections, but from the experience of an intimate and profound encounter. "Don't hold me back!" a single instant of complete happiness is enough to live it always and pass it on to others. The only way to keep the experience of life, to keep it as a life partner, is to communicate this experience of the Risen One to others, making it contagious.

Anna Maria Del Prete

NP Maggio 2022

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