Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A late thought on Mary Magdalene

I realize it is very late in her feast day, but such is life these days for me. I was struck, for what reason I still know not, today by something in the readings for Mass. Mary Magdalene wasn't going to the tomb to see the resurrected Jesus, she was going to finish preparing the body for a proper burial. Since it's late I'll make the point brief - she didn't get it right away either.

We often think of St. Thomas as the doubter, but yet here (albeit obviously earlier) we are shown as if in a caption that nobody really understood what was going on right away. Even after all the time they spent with Jesus they still didn't understand. That is not to condemn the Apostles or any of the disciples in any way - the whole of the reality that Jesus came to fulfill was, and in many ways still is, far beyond the normal imagination of your everyday human. I very often try to tell those in our RCIA program "it's okay - you're not supposed to just understand it right away". Normally we use Peter in the walking on the water episode or Thomas after Jesus appears to the Apostles to illustrate the idea that fides quarens intellectum also requires time, and that's perfectly okay. Now I get to have one more example to add to the list. Yet another example of how the Gospels continue to talk to us in different ways no matter how many times we read them.