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Something to think and pray about this week

Communal

Conflict is part of any human group. What matters is how we handle it and respond to it. Conflict is also difficult. That is why it is so tempting to focus on our personal relationship with God and stay far away from the community. Important as my personal relationship with the Lord is my relationship with the wider community is, at least, as important. Had Mary [Magdalene] spent the rest of her life, after the meeting in the garden, focussing only on her personal relationship with the Gardener we would never have heard of her. She would not have been a leader in the community. She would not have fulfilled the mission given to her by the Gardener to go to the male disciples. The key response that the Gardener looks for in those who follow him is discipleship. This certainly involves an intense personal relationship with him but is also means working for freedom within ourselves and seeking freedom for others.

Excerpted from Mary Magdalene and the Gardener: Women Leaders in the Church by Brian Lennon SJ (pp. 65-66)