So Mary Magdalene ran in the darkest moment. She ran in the darkest hour. What ignited her? What motivated her? What pushed a woman, a Hebrew woman, to run before the sun rises?
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That wasn't a good time for a good Jewish woman to be out. There were specific women who would be out at that time, at what was generally thought to be a bad time, and it was not someone we would call a virtuous character, not someone who would embody what we would call a model example, not an exemplary woman. The women who were out at that hour of the night were, literally and figuratively, women of the night.
But we know that Mary Magdalene--who may or may not have been a woman of the night, and who may or may not have been delivered from those particular spirits--we know for sure she was out, and she was out at the time when good, virtuous women would be at home with their families.
She put all of that aside. She cared not about what others would say. Mary Magdalene cared not at all about the imagery or the repute. She disregarded what the press clippings may have read the next morning or what would be on the cover of the magazines, or what the entertainment shows may have stated about her, or what the blogosphere may have written about her. She ran. She ran while it was still dark, while she had no idea what she was running to.
You have to, too. You can't let what others say about you--or what you think they're going to say about you--stop you. When you know your purpose, and you know your goal, you can't let the naysayers or the doubters hold you back. You've got to brush aside the jealous people who don't want others to do better, and ignore the envious people who want to hold others down. When you know what's right, you can't let what others say about you stop you.
But on this day, the third day after Christ was buried: The audacity of that woman! She ran! In the dark.
But not for herself.
Rodriguez is president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America's largest Hispanic Christian Organization with more than 40,000 member churches. He is based in Sacramento.