I have often mused about the love story between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Theirs must have been a wonderful relationship with a great deal of affection between the two of them. Jesus was a close friend of their family and He would often visit and spend, or waste, time with them. Mary would sit with Jesus and listen to his stories; while Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing something to eat and their brother Lazarus would hover around listening in.
Jesus was a major influence in the life of Mary Magdalene. She was a public sinner and was derided as such. But when she met Jesus, her life took a complete turn-around and she became one of the most faithful and devoted among the disciples. When all the others, including most of the apostles, abandoned Christ at His crucifixion; she was one of three women together with the beloved disciple who stayed. It was to her that the Risen Christ first revealed Himself to. And it was she that Christ asked to announce to the rest that He has risen.
Her story is the story of all those whose lives have been touched and changed by their encounter with Jesus: sinners changing for the better and changing not only their lives but even of those around them. It is a great love story that has been repeated in many lives, across the centuries and in many climes and places. It is a love story I have struggled all my life to live out.