Sometimes you just have to wonder how deep seminary/divinity training is. Orthodox ecumenism? The Scholastics? The Bible?!?
It’s pretty amazing the how much even faithful and good Christians will twist themselves to avoid a rupture in their spiritual life.
Image credit, by the way, Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Three Marys.
It’s been pointed out that the title “Apostle to the Apostles” is an ancient honorific. The Orthodox have always used it. Thomas Aquinas.
The reality is that the oldest Christian tradition depicts Mary Magdalene remaining closer to him during his Passion than any men. And she was the first on Easter morning to actually witness. Mark, the oldest Gospel, in 16:11-14, tells the tale, and Jesus did not seem to be pleased with the Eleven.
When (Jesus’ companions) heard that he was alive and had been seen by (Mary), they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.
[But] later, as the eleven were at table, (Jesus) appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.
In a way, this was a denial of the witness. It’s even a reflection of the human condition seen in the Chosen People who rejected so many of God’s true prophets. The protests echo to this day:
- Lord, why did you send her?
- Lord, why didn’t you come to us first?
- Lord, why didn’t you send someone who rose from the dead?
- Lord, why were you a feminist?