Mary Magdalene is seated at the feet of Jesus

Mary Magdalene is seated at the feet of Jesus Luke 10:38-42 [38] As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. [39] She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. [40] But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” [41] “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, [42] but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

王春新神父和我們 安靜學道是馬利亞主動的選擇,她不是偷懶,在耶穌到達之前,馬利亞是與馬大一同工作,耶穌來到之後,她卻主動離開馬大,到耶穌的腳前聽道, 相對之下,馬大被許多事煩惱,「思慮煩擾」(10:41),原文是兩個字:「憂慮」(anxious)與「困擾」(troubled)。

In the centuries following Mary Magdalene death, legends surrounding her evolved. St. Mary Magdalene has become an icon representing the penitent fallen woman. Mary’s appearances are few in the Bible, mostly during the days surrounding Easter weekend, but her actions and the effort to identify her have made her into a major figure in Christianity. Mary is first mentioned in Luke 8:13 as one of the followers of Jesus named Mary, called Magdalene. From this passage it can be implied that she was from the Galilean town of Magdala, about one hundred miles north of Jerusalem, however her name was not Mary. It was Miriam, which is the Hebrew equivalent of Mary. In the same passage it was said that she had seven demons cast from her by Jesus. During the time of Jesus, the demons that were cast would most likely have been a form of mental illness, rather than seven vices that many Christians longly believed and which strengthened the case for her label as a prostitute or actual demons that entered her body. After the exorcism of the demons she became a devout follower of Jesus.

As a follower, Mary was one of many women that accompanied Jesus during his travels, most of whom are believed to have been wealthy. During his journey, he was visited by two women, the unnamed sinner in Luke 7 and Mary of Bethany, both of whom anoint his feet and dry them with their hair, similar to the way Magdalene anointed him shortly after his death. In 591, Pope Gregory the Great stated that all three were in fact one woman, Mary Magdalene, and this is how she became labeled as a prostitute, or the unnamed sinner. However the Second Vatican Council removed the prostitute label in 1969 after much debate and Biblical evidence that there was more than one Mary and that Mary of Magdalene and the unnamed sinner were two different figures.

After Jesus’ death, the most controversy around Mary Magdalene’s life would unfold. In all four Gospels, she is the first to witness Jesus after his resurrection. Believed to be the Jesus’ favorite by the apostles, Mary is asked to reveal secret teachings given to her by Jesus while consoling the apostles. After her revelation, which is found in the Gnostic Gospel of Mary, she has a disagreement with Peter about the teachings. This is the beginning of strengthening Peter’s role in Christianity while lessening that of Mary’s. Gnosticism was not accepted into early Christianity due to its strange views, during the formation of the early church. Gnostics believe that the salvation of the soul comes from internal knowledge of the mysteries of our world, rather than purity of the soul.

Where Mary went and what she did after she left the apostles is debatable.

Most western Catholics, separated from the East after the Great Schism, believe she fled to France in a boat with Mary, Lazarus and others and lived out her life in a cave for 30 years before dying at the Chapel of Saint-Maximin, located in the Aix En province, about 75 miles northeast of Marseille, in the Southeast of France. In the Eastern traditions, Mary is believed to have left Jerusalem with Mary, mother of Jesus, and traveled to Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey. Both traditions only add to the mystery that surrounds the life of Mary Magdalene.

Luke 10:38-42 At the Home of Martha and Mary