content from Creighton University's Daily Reflections
Pat Borchers, Creighton School of Law
Today’s Gospel mentions Mary Magdalen, a New Testament figure who has always fascinated me. CatholicCulture.org has a very good summary of the Biblical references to Mary Magdalene, and some of what I write here is drawn from the summary by Fr. William Sauders, posted on that site.
As a child, I used to get confused between the “two Marys.” Of course, the one with whom we are more familiar is the mother of Jesus. As I grew in understanding, I found Mary Magdalene interesting in her own right. She appears fairly frequently in the Gospels and it’s clear that she was close to Jesus, perhaps the female equivalent of an apostle.
Although she has been canonized as St. Mary Magdalene, there was some doubt as to whether several references are to her. Arguably, there could be as many as three different women involved. The Mary we meet today is unambiguously Mary Magdalene who is mentioned several times in the Gospels as having had seven demons cast out. Luke, from whom the Gospel is taken today, refers in the previous chapter to an anonymous penitent woman. Finally, there is the Mary — sometimes referred to as Mary of Bethany — who was the sister of Martha and Lazurus.