A few weeks ago, I watched the 2018 Mary Magdalene movie.
I felt so deeply touched and moved by the movie that I watched it again. In fact, I found myself stopping and pausing the movie during several scenes just so I could transcribe some of the dialogue. The movie was filled with so many pearls of wisdom that I wanted to record this so I could refer to it later. The words deeply impacted me and seemed to resonate within my being. Then, just about a week ago, I realized that I would love to share this movie with you all during a weekend online retreat.
So, will you join me?
Why Mary Magdalene?
For those of you who have been following my blogs, or attending my Zoom circles, you are probably aware that I have been feeling a greater and greater affinity for Mary Magdalene. This began this past fall when I first read a book titled Mary Magdalene Revealed written my Meggan Watterson, a Harvard-trained theologian. I was so captivated by this book that I read it twice and shared it with many of my clients and friends.
At that time, all I knew about Mary Magdalene was whatever I learned from watching the famous Jesus of Nazareth television miniseries that aired in the late 1970s. Yes, the one with that haunting melody. The actor who played Jesus had those piercing blue eyes; at times it felt like he was seeing right through you but seeing something that could not be seen by the physical eyes. And in those series, Mary Magdalene is depicted as a prostitute. Yet she is also the first one to see Jesus after his resurrection.
Based upon her research and that of her colleagues, Meggan Watterson shows how Mary was not only not a prostitute, but very likely Jesus’ companion, and a prominent Jewish woman who was a benefactress of his ministry. She may even be considered the first apostle because while accompanying Jesus, she was able to fully grasp his teachings and find an inner spiritual authority that had nothing to do with external dogma or institutionalized religion. Jesus appeared to her first after his resurrection because she was open to perceiving the Christ within; so, she was also the “apostle of the apostles,” since she first brought this news to the other apostles.
Background: Why is Mary Magdalene relevant now?
Mary Magdalene understood Jesus’ teachings in a way that even the other apostles did not. But this was threatening to the patriarchal culture typical of those times. Even the apostles doubted her. Why would Jesus appear to her, a woman, instead of them?
Meggan, in her book, shares how even though Mary Magdalene was a leading apostle in the earliest Christian movement, eventually, her gospel was ordered to be burned and destroyed by the existing church elders around 367AD, along with other scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas and Gospel of Philip. However, a group of rebel Copt monks chose to secretly preserve these scriptures (which demonstrated a very different version of Christianity) by burying them in urns deep in the Egyptian desert and others in a cave. The Gospel of Mary, the only gospel written under a woman’s name, would not be rediscovered until the late 1800s, and not printed until 1955. In recent years, more and more public attention has been gathering around Mary Magdalene and the pivotal role she played in the life of Jesus.
What this retreat is not
This retreat is not a feminist retreat because the Beloved is neither masculine nor feminine. This retreat is not about theology or intellectual speculation about the life of Mary Magdalene and whether she and Jesus were a couple, and what exactly was their relationship, and so forth. Rather, Mary Magdalene has come to me to help me more deeply awaken to the immediate, living Presence of the Beloved within my heart. She is here to shorten the seeming gap between what we seem to believe ourselves to be-limited human beings- to what we truly are: the presence of the infinite light, love, and peace of the Beloved. This was true thousand of years ago, and it still true today, and will always be true regardless of what our outer circumstances appear to be.
Why a retreat?
I feel called to share Mary Magdalene’s message with each of you. I have a strong desire for us to all come together so we can deeply connect to the voice for peace, love, and safety within. Mary Magdalene is a wonderful guide to help us in this process and the movie is a beautiful bridge we can use to connect more deeply to her presence.
What is the format of the retreat and the dates?
The retreat will be held online via Zoom on May 15th – 17th, 2020.
Here are the times we will meet:
Friday May 15th from 7pm to 9pm EDT.
Saturday May 16th from 11am to 1pm EDT and 3pm to 6pm EDT
Sunday May 17th from 11am EDT to 1pm EDT.
On Friday, we will gather and spend time sharing about our experiences with Mary Magdalene, what she means to us, and what is the desire of our heart as we embark on the retreat.
Saturday we will spend some time preparing to watch the movie, discussing the main themes we want to explore, and the spend the bulk of the morning session and part of the afternoon session watching the movie. We will pause the movie as it feels guided so we can truly absorb all the wisdom that is shared. We will also have time for expression and sharing our response to the movie.
Sunday we will gather for some processing of what has come up as we watched the movie and how we can move forward to implement some of the insights we have gained.
There will be time spent in group prayer/meditation as well as listening to inspiring music that will complement the message of Mary Magdalene.
How to sign up
If you feel a pull to join us, please register by sending a payment for $79 for the full retreat here. If you want to attend but need some assistance, there are a few scholarships available. Please email me and we can explore further. If you feel inspired to sponsor someone to attend by paying-it-forward, please email me as well. If you prefer to pay by check, you can send payment to Seema Khaneja, PO Box 18373, Rochester, NY 14618. Let me know you intend to do this so I can add your name to the participant list.
I will be sending out the zoom and other retreat details once I receive your registration.
The retreat begins now!
Mary Magdalene and I hold you each in our hearts.
She tells me the retreat starts as soon as you register. In the days to come, I will share her many inspired messages I have been receiving that will help us prepare deeply for the retreat. I know she has many gifts of love, wisdom, and clarity that she wants to share. So I do hope you will join us!
Please share this email with others who also feel an affinity to Mary Magdalene so they can join us too!
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