At our diocesan staff Bible study today, we read next Sunday’s Gospel about the appearance of Jesus to the Disciples, and especially to Thomas.
But we got off on an interesting tangent: Mary, the mother of Jesus is seen at the foot of the cross in the accounts of the crucifixion. But there are no gospel accounts that specifically describe that Mary saw her son after his resurrection.
Was Mary so overwhelmed with grief after watching her son die on Good Friday that she is no longer with his disciples and friends? Is she in hiding, in private grief? Or has she begun the return journey to Nazareth to find a way forward?
Or was there a meeting of Jesus and his mother that was simply private: a chance for her to hug him one more time and be assured that the ministry she had said “yes” to 33 years before was not in vain, and that her son had fulfilled all that was promised? (This is the position of a 5th Century theologian, Sedulius)
Christian tradition developed that at the end of her earthly life, Mary was taken up into heaven to be with her son (the “Assumption” or the “Dormition” of Mary) Perhaps that is the reunion she had with Jesus.
Collectively, our staff felt great sorrow for the loving mother who witnessed her son’s traumatic death, and hoped that she received some sort of encounter with him to know, first hand, like the disciples and Thomas, that he had truly been raised.