After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news
of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of
evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.
There were many women among Jesus’s disciples, women who supported the ministry of Jesus in many ways, including financially. Mary Magdalene is probably the best known. She is credited for witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus and is one of the women who go to the tomb to anoint his body on the first Easter morning. She is one of the first to see that Jesus’s body no longer rests in the tomb. Mary is one of the first to announce that Jesus is risen.
Despite all this, Mary Magdalene has historically been misrepresented as a prostitute. The gospels do not say this about her. She is mentioned as having been possessed by seven demons and having been exorcised of these demons.
Mary Magdalene can teach us a lot about our Christian journey, particularly through Lent. She teaches us about supporting others in their ministry, through prayer and actions – and maybe even financially. Maligned and mistreated throughout history, she teaches us about the personal cost of being a follower. The challenge this week in Lent is to support others on their Christian journey, and to face the personal cost of following Jesus, even when we are mocked for our faith.
God of Mary Magdalene,
we thank you that you choose all sorts of people,
often the people that others wouldn’t choose.
This Lent we pray that you will guide us to your unusual choices –
those who may challenge us or think differently to us.
Give us the strength to support their discipleship,
the courage to face any persecutions,
and the love for them that you have for us.