They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” Mary Magdalene
Has our world view of critical thinking robbed us of the real presence of Christ? Today’s Gospel, features Mary Magdalene. Instead of focusing on her acts of devotion and courage, commentaries focus on questions:
- Did Mary hail from a fishing village (cf. Magdala near Galilee) or was Magdalene her honorary title (cf. Jerome, equates Magdal with a “beacon of faith).”
- Did Mary Magdalene anoint Jesus? All four Gospel refer to stories about women anointing Jesus, but none of them mention Mary Magdalene (cf. Mark 14; Matthew 26). Perhaps Mary Magdalene is a conflation of all of our desires?
- Was Mary Magdalene, Isapostlos’ or ‘Equal to the Apostles?’ When the apostles scattered, was she considered one of them? (cf. Romans (16: 6). Does she introduce the Church to a woman as the Church leader?
- Was Mary Magdalene the sister of Mary, Martha and Lazarus? Conservative Catholics take the Gregory the Great Sermon 33.1 as Gospel. Or do you take your cue from a pile of commentaries?
I love theological inquiry as much as the next person, but think about the long term impact of seeing the Bible through the lenses of “questions.” How do I know what is true? Are my questions killing my faith? (i.e. NOT a stepping stone to faith, ala Kierkegaard).
Where have they put Him? It’s Mary Magdalene’s question to all of us “post modern Christians.”
Do our questionings relegate Jesus to a spiritual version of home plate? There are lots of interesting ideas modern Christian are open to. But as C. S. Lewis writes in the “Abolition of Man”, openness to eternal things is not something you want to be “open to.”
Does Jesus comes into play only when we slide into our heavenly reward? Or do we dismiss the realities of the Apostles Creed as our pious duty only to forget them in our daily grind? A while back I asked a Catholic priest about the candles for sale in the Cathedral. He said, “Oh, the pius believe that hocus pocus” Today, most priests believe the apostles creed is hocus pocus and very much like what Rudolf Bultmann believed, “the miracles of Jesus as hocus pocus dismissed by today’s technology. ”
Theologically, when the Church became invisible, Satan scored a homerun. Now, as the centuries creep on, Christians are more concerned with their 401K and hoping for a long life. Why? Because their spiritual leaders have taken the Lord from the tomb. No resurrection. No problem. We have science, the press and an endowment.
The apostle Paul writes: “The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14)
Unfortunately, we are living in the last days when “knowledge will be increased” (cf. Daniel 12). It’s a good time be alive because we have the next best thing to the Holy Spirit, Google.
What’s the cure?
Confess the sins of your people and make it right! Spend your money on Jesus (a.k.a a nard of perfume) and wake up at the empty tomb of Christ.