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.
St. Thomas, on the other hand, wasn’t present amongst the apostles when Christ first returned. He was wracked with doubt—a doubting Thomas—and needed reassurance of Christ’s resurrection; and our Lord provided. He appeared to Thomas to quell his doubts and to set a precedent for all future Christian believers: blessed is he who has seen; even more blessed are those that believe who haven’t.
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.