I have always held an affinity for Mary Magdalene, the woman who learned along side the men in the Gospels. She was a student and a teacher, a story-teller and a financial tycoon, she was a sinner and a saint. She is redemption.
Throughout my life, as I commit sin after sin, I look to her as the promise of the ability to change. I strive for that forgiveness she received and my hope often resembles hers: to leave behind past mistakes and move forward toward God's Kingdom. Furthermore, I find my faith not in perfections or when I receive the blessing of a pat on the back; rather, I continue to find my faith when I stumble. It is in falling that the Lord picks me up and that is my connection to Mary Magdalene. She is real.
As a Catholic, I have been taught to use my intellect and logic to further understand my faith; and this is what I have applied to my study of Mary Magdalene: logic and human reality. If I make her a bride to Christ or an earthly goddess or even a prostitute, she is not a symbol of hope for me. For I will never be the bride to Christ, an earthly goddess, or god-willing, a prostitute. But I can be a student of Jesus', a story-teller, a forgiven woman saved by Jesus, striving for the Kingdom. This is the Mary Magdalene we need: a real life woman, a regular follower, a sinner, a saint.