Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. — Luke 8:1-3


Neither Mary nor I slept that night after Simon’s party.  We wondered who was the woman with the alabaster jar?  Why was Judas angry?  Where did Jesus and his friends go? Why was Mary Magdalene weeping?

None the less, we woke early and reported to Martha’s kitchen to help prepare the Passover meal.  Normally this was a great time for “sistering” as the women worked together.  Friendly jabs at each other’s bread, jostling for the bragging rights to the best bread.  Telling stories.  Nibbling here and there.  But that wasn’t the case today.  The mood was somber.  No one dared to break the silence.

I wrangled a spot next to Mary Magdalene to help stir the batter for honey cakes.  Mary might have been the most somber of all and continued to dab at her eyes now and again.  I was desperate to learn why she continued to weep.

“Mary,” I whispered, “Who was that woman last night?  The one who did….the one who did that to Jesus?”

Mary looked at me startled and then a slight smile played across her lips, perhaps remembering her younger, impetuous self in me.

“I don’t know,” Mary said.  “I’ve seen her many times when Jesus was teaching, but she would disappear before I could get through the crowds to talk with her.  She seems to just vanish.”

“But why were you weeping with her outside Simon’s house?”  The words jumped from my throat before I could think twice about the appropriateness of the question.

Mary’s eyes flooded with tears.  She looked away and told me, “Because she understands, too.  She understands that Jesus is in trouble and must go away for awhile.  And we will miss him.”

Trouble?  Jesus?  None of this made sense to me.


Imagio Divina — Divine Imagining — encourages us to enter into stories of the Bible using our imaginations for God to talk with us.  Begin by reading a piece of scripture, closing your eyes, and allowing yourself to enter the story.  Who is there?  Choose a character that you identify with and become him or her.  What do you see?  What do your smell?  What do you hear? What do you touch?  Allow yourself to weave the scripture story into your imagination, braiding the biblical details with those you see in your mind’s eye. Many journal their journeys into antiquity following their Imagio Divina practice.  For everyone, prayer is the natural conclusion.




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