Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Hello, everyone.

A painting for today:

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back--it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee...."  Matthew 16: 1-7

Besides the blazingly obvious, that this is from the account in the Gospel of Matthew of the discovery that the Lord had risen, another thing occurs to me. Did y'all notice that *every* Mary has a surname or other descriptor to tell the reader which Mary we are talking about now? That says to me that Mary was one of those bog-standard names that appeared in so many families that you couldn't walk without tripping over a gal named Mary. Mary of Magdala is not Mary of Bethany (sister of Lazarus?) is not Mary the wife of Cleophas is not Mary the mother of Jesus. And that's just the Marys that I can roll off the top of my head.

Sometimes when I read spiritual meditations or Bible commentaries it seems like the writer has it in their head that there are only maybe 2 ladies named Mary in the entire Holy Land of Jesus' time. But it is there in the text, if one reads with attention, that there are LOTS of Marys. Also there appear to be lots of men named Jesus--why else does Jesus have a surname?--and lots of James and Jude and Simon as well. Possibly other given names in the Gospels give evidence that their holders had fairly common names. Having advanced the thought, I will leave it to the interested readers to explore for themselves.

This painting of the Resurrection of Christ was in a Portuguese church, but without digging a lot into the things from a couple of years back I can't remember which one. It was after Coimbra, I think. And certainly before Tui in Spain.