5. Then the lady’s priest came to her, saying, “Woman, Jesus is long since dead.”
When her crying ceased, she said to the priest, “Sir, his death is as fresh to me as if he had died this same day, and so, I think, it ought to be to you and to all Christian people.”
In Book One, section 60, Margery is again being challenged by a religious figure for her emotional displays, in this case for weeping at the sight of a statue of Mary holding the dead Jesus. And again, Margery’s response is forthright and unafraid. Turning the priest’s question around, she shifts the issue from the impropriety of her unusual reaction to the death of Jesus to the fact that her response is, indeed, so unusual. Why, Margery wants to know, doesn’t everybody cry when they think of Jesus—that’s the real question. Margery’s tears once again take on their symbolic, didactic value. She cries because she sees Christ’s sacrifice as occurring even now, and eternally—which is in fact what Christians profess to believe. The greatest spiritual danger for a Christian is to forget about Christ, and Margery’s greatest ambition is to become a living reminder of his love.