The biblical accounts of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene and to the Apostle Thomas is endlessly fascinating to compare.
When Mary Magdalene, overwhelmed with joy at seeing Christ risen from the dead, exclaims, “Teacher!” She is told, “Do not cling to me but go, instead, and tell the others what you’ve seen.”
She is, it seems, reproofed for her joy.
When the Apostle Thomas, however, isn’t among the other apostles when Christ first appears he claims that he won’t believe until he can place his finger in the whole in Christ’s hand.
So, Christ appears, shortly after, and provides Thomas with proof.
Why is Mary Magdalene told not to cling to Christ, that he still must ascend to Heaven, while Thomas is provided a chance to see Christ’s wounds for himself—to satisfy his doubt.
Mary Magdalene, Jimmy explains, needed to be told to let go and trust in God’s eternal plan. Jesus wasn’t back from the dead to stay on earth and be her rabbi; he had a much greater mission at the right hand of God. She needed to hear this message, and to go tell the others what she’d heard.
God knows exactly what we need, and meets us there.
It’s such a profoundly simple idea; with incredible repercussions.
Going even further, Augustine writes that “God is nearer to me than even I am myself.”
Not only, says Augustine, does God know what we need and meet us there—he knows even better than we do because, after all, he made us in the first place.
He knows our needs better than we do. And thank God for that.