Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Feast Days of Mary Magdalene and Martha, the sister of Mary

I have written about Mary Magdalene and Martha, the sister of Mary the less busy sister, before, several times and in several places.  This year, I decided to see if I made any new connections if I looked at them at the same time.

The piece I wrote is up at the Living Lutheran site, and now is a perfect time to read it, in between the feast days that celebrate both women (July 22 for Mary Magdalene and July 29 for Martha the sister of Mary).

Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

"Martha, the sister of Mary, is not seen as possessed by demons. But in many ways, her demons seem much more typical of modern life."

"Jesus tells Martha that she’s worried about many things, and in his admonishment, I hear a lesson for us today. Jesus implies that the issues that cause her anxiety aren’t really important. It’s a story many of us, with our increasingly hectic lives, need to hear again – maybe every day."

"It’s in the life of Mary Magdalene that I get a hint of what I need to do to diminish my modern demons of anxiety and busyness and hurry, hurry, hurry. Go back to the Easter morning story in the Gospel of John. It's Mary who stays behind to grieve, while the male disciples are running off to do whatever it is they feel compelled to do. It's because she stays behind to rest and to grieve that she gets to be the first to see the risen Lord."

"Paradoxically, the story of Mary Magdalene reminds us not only to rest but to stay alert. If Mary had used one of our modern ways to dull her grief, like drinking or sleeping or tackling the never-ending list of household chores, she might have missed the risen Jesus. But because she slows down to sit with her grief, to be fully present to her less comfortable emotions, she is also able to be fully present to the Divine who moves through the world."

Read the whole article here.

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