Apostles, Christianity, Faith, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Testimony
This happened to catch my eye over at Father Z’s. While in my tradition we don’t do Saints like the Catholics do, we do respect the stalwart in faith who have gone before us. Amongst them is Mary Magdalene, the first witness of the Risen Christ, and her Feast day was yesterday. That is why she is sometimes called the Apostle to the Apostles, Christ himself charged her with going and telling the apostles that He was risen.
Well, I gather some think that the Church has rather shortchanged her and that her reputation has been sullied. Maybe so, not my department, but I keep in mind what Jessica wrote long ago about her on NEO, my blog. It was this:
Under Jewish Law the testimony of a woman was no testimony at all. The first witness to the Risen Lord was a woman – Mary Magdalen. She was tearful. There she was, come to the tomb to anoint Him, and there was the stone moved. Her mind went where most of our minds would have gone – someone had taken Him away. That great stone had not moved itself, and dead bodies don’t walk out of tombs. The grave-clothes were bundled up and there was no trace of Jesus. Hard to imagine her feelings at the point. Only two days earlier her world had fallen apart. The man whose feet she had anointed and whom she had followed so loyally had been taken, tortured and then crucified. She knew that; she’d been there (which was more than could be said for most of those Apostles). It was over. All that remained was for her to do a final duty to the corpse. But even that was to be denied her. They had taken her Lord away.
She ran back to where the disciples were and told Peter the horrible news. Typically Peter, he ran to the tomb, and equally typically was outpaced by the younger John. But John stood at the entrance, and when Peter arrived he it was who, impulsive and brave as ever, went inside to see that the tomb was, indeed, as empty as Mary had said. The men went back home, no doubt to tell the others; Mary, as is the way of women, wanted to stay there a moment longer, perhaps to gather her thoughts, perhaps to mourn a moment alone.
She looked into the tomb again, only to be met by the most amazing sight – two angels asking her why she wept. The answer she gave echoes down the ages: “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” As she turned away she saw a stranger, whom she took to be the gardener and asked where Jesus was. Then the man spoke – just one word, one word which shattered the world as she had known it and which echoes down the ages, even to the end of all things. ‘Mary’ was that word, the first from the lips of the Resurrected Lord. However much her tears had blinded her, that voice was clearly unmistakable: “Rabboni!” She said. Teacher, teacher, that was what she called Him. She went to cling to Him and He said: ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ He bade her to go and tell the others what she had seen.
The testimony of a woman was no testimony in Jewish Law, and yet it was to a woman that the Risen Lord first came. He had broken the bonds of death, He had conquered the power of death and of Satan, the hold of sin on mankind was broken; and these things He entrusted to the power of one who in Jewish Law could offer no testimony at all.
She was the first. Let us love and honour her for that this Easter morning: ‘He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!’
And there, on Easter morning itself, our Lord made his statement on the equality of women. We would do well to note that he made no case for their superiority, as so many these days seem to think, he made the case that women are valuable, and trustworthy, in their own right, which role is not the same as men but is complementary and equal to men.
In the Tridentine Missal, the Epistle is this (from the Song of Songs)
I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. (quaesivi illum et non inveni.) The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go …
Would that we all (or any of us) were that faithful to the Lord.
Bosco the Heretic said:
Yes yes, the first evangelist was Mary, a female. From word of mouth from her, her testimony was passed down to me, in a parking lot jesus festival. Jesus is alive and wants to know me personally. This is the body of Christ. Word of mouth. From Mary to me, Bosco. The demonic catholic church says their fake holy father s office is passed own from Peter til now. What those liars should say is that the chair of Peter was bought and sold and killed for and aband0oned all the way til now.
I have made the acquaintance of a , possibly, young, catholic priest. We met by accident. I made a joke about the inquisitors and he replied that its no joke. He said they are alive and well. I asked him, which at first though it was a her, to elaborate. Well, he gave me a sketch of what happened to him and how much it cost him in lawyer fees. In short, hes fighting to keep his catholic priest membership card. Hes running into Bishops who can make or break him. Its a good ol boy system he kinda said. This guy moved something in me. I didt feel the urge to lamblast him for being a priest of Baal. I want to help him. Of course i told him to open the door to Jesus.
I think his story needs to be told. Hes on the inside looking out. He has the real deal story to tell about the inner workings of the CC.
Good brother Neo, how can i make a post of his story. Give me a email for you and ill send it to you and you can put it in a post. Its not some jive time stuff. This is real interesting in its scope and human drama. I hope to be this mans friend for the foreseeable future.
Very interesting, Bosco. Yes, I’d be interested but be aware that I would be reluctant unless I could verify the person’s story and identity and to further be able to question them by email or via a phone call It’s a serious matter to get involved in. Last time I did, I had ten pages of documentation, including the police report on a pastor unfairly charged in Norwich.
Bosco the Heretic said:
Ill see if i can find him. hes fighting for his profession life. a catholic priest. You would think i wouldnt care. But its the person i care about.
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That’s good, Bosco, and you should. Do let me know if you find him.
Bosco the Heretic said:
Hes been a catholic priest for 20 yrs. He hasnt told me what he was run up the flagpole for but he assures me it wasnt for child abuse or any sex crimes. Hes willing to0 tell me his story. Hes willing for us to post it and share it to the world. Its breaking news. Even church militant doesnt have this story yet. Lets scoop them and run it first.