If we search the canonical gospel accounts of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, Mary Magdalene appears in all four as the most present and persevering in her fidelity. She was at the foot of the cross, she stayed at the tomb when others had departed, she saw Christ in the garden when the tomb was empty and was instructed to “go and tell the brothers” of the Resurrection. These texts are beautiful examples of why she is now known as a saint in Christianity.

This weekend as the gathered group of Wisdom students delve the possibility of conscious love in Mary’s life and ours, we have considered a modern poem that expresses the transformation in Mary’s life. Moved to a greater love by surrendering the person of Jesus to the completion of his mission, she was able to take up what was hers to live, knowing that the presence of Christ impelled her and sustained her in that mission.

This poem should be read aloud, often and deeply, as there is so much to feel in its meaning. I offer it today in praise for this woman who has finally, humbly (I believe) come into her own with the recognition of her importance in the life of early Christianity and in our own day.

Now his body writhes in pain: once it was my delight, now it is my sorrow. Blood drains from arms that held me close, now they are fixed and life has fled from flesh and bones.

As we take him from wood to earth, all is silent, empty – passion surrenders to another love that is not here or there but rides the breath of a greater mystery confounding the finite corpus of my desires.

No longer the object of my affections, he has become the subject of my truth.

The memory of his love no longer clings to the skin of my life. He has dissolved the mirage of separation and pours the pure wine of his presence into the waiting chalice of my heart.        (First Apostle by Robert Pynn)