Happy Easter? I am hesitant to give honor to this sacred feast until the wrong that has been done to Mary Magdalene has been righted! We are two thousand years past the event of Jesus’ resurrection and STILL Mary Magdalene is getting the shaft (pun intended #MeToo). It was not Peter, but Mary who witnessed the risen Christ and it was Mary who was ordained (yes, I said ORDAINED) to carry the message to the other disciples (who were cowering in fear and shame in the Upper Room…too chicken to accompany their “teacher” and “best friend” through his trial, crucifixion and death!!!!! WIMPS!). Not only was Mary Magdalene sent to tell the other disciples, it was to her that Jesus imparted his deepest teachings and who he ordained (yes, I said it again!) to carry those teaching out into the world – most especially, the protocol through which the world could be transformed from fear into love.
But no…..the Church still clings to their attachment to Petrine Privilege and in spite of what biblical scholars now tell us, Mary is still cast in the role of repentant whore (ala Jesus Christ Superstar) and it is “Peter who Jesus chose to build his Church.” Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know that Pope Francis did some nice thing by saying Mary wasn’t the sinful woman of scripture even “giving her a feast day” (which by the way, Mary already had so this was nothing more than a publicity stunt on the part of the Vatican). But until the Catholic Church acknowledges all the places where scripture has been redacted (changed) or interpreted to support Petrine Privilege, (John 20: 2-10, MT 16: 15-19) I will not be satisfied. Neither will the Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene – the Forgotten Apostle
For two thousand years, Mary Magdalene has languished as the forgotten apostle. Diminished to sinful woman, prostitute and whore, her role in the Jesus story overlooked and her mission after the resurrection completely obliterated from history, or discarded as heresy. (I often wonder what Mary Magdalene truths are hiding under lock and key in basement of the Vatican). She shares the lead role with Jesus in the resurrection story and yet, just this past weekend I heard of a priest who used the Easter homily to denigrate the Magdalene for having no faith and running away in the face of the Risen Christ. WHAT!!???? Where did he come up with that interpretation? Oh I know….the Church’s own #MeToo that began and (if I have my way) ends with Mary Magdalene.
The Church and its Rejection of Women
#MeToo Catholic Church: There is only one explanation for the Church’s wholesale rejection of the Magdalene – and that is the rejection of WOMEN! Jesus preached and modeled equality. He was RADICAL in his welcoming of all those who were otherwise rejected in a patriarchal/hierarchical society. He welcomed EVERYONE and he placed women on equal footing with the men who gathered around him. As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir – especially among Jesus’ male followers (Mark 14: 3-9, John 12: 1-7). But when push came to shove, it was the women who provided for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 8: 1-3) and who stood by Jesus’ side as he faced his trial, crucifixion, death, and burial while the men (the possible exception being John) cowered in the Upper Room (where they were still hiding on Easter morning). It was the women, who supported Jesus likely BECAUSE for the first time in their lives, they felt seen, heard, called, and empowered for who they were as women and for the unique gifts they had to offer the world.
Learn about the Temple of the Magdalene Priest/Priestess Training HERE
But as soon as Jesus wasn’t looking, the Church threw it all away. No one talks about the women (except maybe virginal Mother Mary). No one talks about the Magdalene (except frustrated women like myself). (In fact, have you noticed how the “Paul the Apostle” movie made its U.S. debut to rave reviews while the Mary Magdalene movie is gathering dust on the #MeTooWeinstein shelves????? UGH!!!!!!) No one points out that Jesus called for equality….and his first act as the Christ was to commission…no, ORDAIN, a woman to continue in his stead. But as soon as the Magdalene was ordained, she was set aside (and every woman since). The male disciples didn’t believe her tale of the risen Christ and had to see for themselves before they would believe. Not one of them came forward to Mary and said, “Gosh, I’m sorry. You were right. Please help us to see how you see and to know what you know?” Instead, the men went off without her….and the rest is HIStory.
Mary Magdalene’s Herstory
Or is it? HERstory remains where all of Jesus’ other truths remain – hiding in plain sight, for those who have eyes to see and for those who have ears to hear. Magdalene is the TOWER (Magdalene is a title which means, “Tower of the Flock”) of what Jesus really set out to do – TEACH THE WORLD HOW TO LOVE. In the gospel attribute to Mary Magdalene, we get a glimpse into her unique understanding and knowledge and how she sought to communicate the process that Jesus taught which would help people heal their fears so that they could remember how to love. Even then, the disciples didn’t believe her, but Mary carried on. Legends tell us that she was eventually forced to leave the Jerusalem community of disciples and made her own way in the world – first to Egypt, then to southern France and then perhaps even to western England. While there is nothing (currently) to prove the verity of the Magdalene legends, we do have one proof and that is faith – the same faith that allowed Mary to understand the depth of Jesus’ teachings, to hold on to hope in the face of her Beloved’s death and which allowed her to SEE and KNOW the truth of the Risen Christ.
Learn about the Magdalene Priesthood HERE.
From where I stand, the Easter story will never be complete until the Magdalene is given her due. Neither will the story of Jesus who became the Christ, for it was only because of Mary Magdalene and her faith that anyone came to know of the resurrection in the first place. It is long past time we set the record straight – not just for Mary, but for all women (and men), who like her seek to be vessels through which our world can be turned from fear into love – what Jesus and Mary Magdalene taught us and now call us to do.
Learn the protocol that Jesus and Mary Magdalene taught for turning our world from fear into love: