I am grateful I had the privilege of being on the planning committee for this wonderful interfaith event. This was the 38th Annual Women’s Interfaith Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
A beautiful group of women have been planning these wonderful conferences each year since the early 80’s. There is a new topic each year. The theme this year was “Holy Days – What, When, How”.
I loved learning about the diverse faith practices of each of the faith traditions represented. From Ramadan to Rosh Hashanah, Easter to Buddha’s Birthday, we had the opportunity to learn about each these diverse holy days and what they mean to these women of faith.
My favorite portion were these final questions: what do the holy days mean to you, what language do you pray in, and how can we carry the peace-building message of interfaith to the world.
There was such an atmosphere of peace, respect, and inclusion in the room. The qualities of kindness, thoughtfulness, and love were truly uplifting.
It is affirming to see what is possible in the example this diverse group of women sitting in the same room, listening to one another, and sharing their stories. It inspires hope!
I love the inspiring example of Mary Magdalene in the Bible. We don’t know a lot about this woman, but we do know that she went to Jesus seeking forgiveness and was ready to repent, change her actions, and seek Christ.
[She] stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Jesus treats her compassionately and forgives her sins (even defending her to the Pharisee who was judging her) . What a profound healing that must have been for Mary!
“Which of them will love him most?” was the Master’s question to Simon the Pharisee; and Simon replied, “He to whom he forgave most.” Jesus approved the answer, and so brought home the lesson to all, following it with that remarkable declaration to the woman, “Thy sins are forgiven.”
The part that I love is that Mary didn’t turn around and dwell on her mistakes; the Bible tells us she became a follower of Jesus, was there for him at the crucifixion and was even the first to see him after his resurrection.
What a practical, inspiring example for us today! We’ve all made past mistakes and wish we could have done things differently. But ruminating on them isn’t going to help! That is why I love the example of Mary. She didn’t need to wonder why she had done the things she had; she didn’t turn to the past to inform her who she was — whom Jesus saw that she was; she was a completely free woman fully capable of living her divine purpose going forward. The transformation that took place in her was a complete “new birth” experience.
We can all learn from Mary’s example, and go forward and shine!
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Luke 7:38 KJV
Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 363:18
II Corinthians 5:17 NLT
This is a wonderful post about women in the Bible and their role.
by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.
It is striking to me how often in the New Testament a woman is the one anointed for the holy task of bearing witness to the Christ-presence. The one to confirm that the Christ is come to a dark and waiting world. Read more