Today, July 22, is the day the ancient church observes a feast day in honor of Saint Mary Magdalen.
I do not ordinarily observe such days, but this one is an exception. Those of us who participate in Christian community without regard to whether the organized church accepts us or not have a “matron saint” in Mary.
And as pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond–whose congregation describes our mission as one to “Live Out Loud”–I identify with Mary. She lived out loud for her Lord.
The history of church attitudes toward Mary is not always pretty. Much tradition claims she was the “woman taken in adultery,” and as such she has been shunned (despite Jesus’ forcing her accusers to engage in self-examination). And her role as the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet has caused some, who are embarrassed by any focus on the human body, to turn away.
However, both of those situations cause queer folks who also have felt shunned by the church, to cherish her.
Add that to the clear fact, as denied by no one, that she was at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother and other women as well as that she was the first to witness the resurrected Christ, and I have my favorite saint, the Apostle to the Apostles.
You go, Mary!