The Magdalen, a Garden and This

She who is known by myth and association
as sinful, penitent, voluptuous perhaps...
but faithful to the last and then beyond.

A disciple for sure, confused often with Mary,
sister of Lazarus, or the woman caught
in adultery, or she who angered the men

Advertisement

by anointing Jesus with expensive oils.
She was the one from whom he cast out seven
demons—she’s named in that account.

Strip all else away and we know only
that she was grateful, that she found her way
to the cross, and that she returned

to the tomb, to the garden nearby, and there,
weeping at her loss, was recognized,
became known in the tender invocation

of her name. Mary: breathed by one
whom she mistook for the gardener, he
who in an instant brought her back to herself—

gave her in two syllables a life beloved,
gave me the only sure thing I’ll believe
of heaven, that if it be, it will consist

in this: the one unmistakable
rendering of your name.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A 14-year-old boy receives medical treatment at Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, after he was in injured during an attack on a mosque (AP Photo/Amr Nabil).
The pope described the attack as a “wanton act of brutality directed at innocent civilians gathered in prayer.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
“The Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane in a Nov. 22 letter to senators.
Pope Francis greets people at the “Regional Hub,” a government-run processing center for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
Although he named no countries, Vatican observers believe he is referring especially to political leaders in several western and eastern European countries.
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
For Thanksgiving, we give you an inside look into what Jesuit basketball teams to watch out for this season.
Olga SeguraNovember 24, 2017