The Gospel tells us that Jesus cast seven (as in 7 deadly sins) demons out of her and that she was at the Foot of the Cross. She is known as the Apostle to the Apostles–because it’s recorded that the Risen Lord appeared to her first and sent her to deliver the Easter message to the Apostles!
It is often believed that Mary Magdalene is the repentant prostitute who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, wiped them with her hair and anointed them with oil. Some identify her as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who also anointed the feet of Jesus. I think that she was all of the above.
She sinned much, was forgiven much and loved much in return. When i think of St. Mary Magdalene i’m always automatically reminded of Divine Mercy—“Jesus Christ came for sinners”. I think of her in that scene from The Passion of the Christ right after the horrific scourging. Mary Magdalene is down on the pavement alongside Our Lady soaking up the Savior’s spilled Blood onto white towels. And just as she does this she has a flashback to another moment when she was on the ground:
Jesus had just forgiven her from the serious sin of adultery and saved her from being stoned (Mel Gibson portrayed Mary Magdalene as the woman caught in the act of adultery). The awestruck woman’s hand stretches out towards His feet while the Lord extends his hand to lift her up from the ground. You can almost hear him say “Rise!”
That blood that was shed for her… so that she could be forgiven. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells the following parable:
“A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’
And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”
Jesus is the gardener who waters the parched earth with His own Blood along with the Water that flowed from his side. St. Mary Magdalene received the gift of Divine Mercy and became one of His most ardent and faithful disciples, bearing fruit that would last. She loved much. At the Foot of the Cross, St. Mary Magdalene beheld the depths of God’s love—especially for sinners. That’s why she stayed at the empty tomb weeping. It always strikes me that when Jesus appeared to her on Easter morning she mistook him for the gardener!
St. Mary Magdalene, you spent the rest of your life bearing witness to these things– to the love that freed you from captivity… pray for us!