Why Does Jesus Tell Mary Magdalene Not to Touch Him?

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena (1835)
Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena (1835)

In John’s account of the Resurrection, there is a confusing encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. At first, she doesn’t recognize Him, mistaking Him for the gardener. When she finally realizes who He is, she’s overjoyed. But He responds to her by telling her not to hold on to Him. Here’s how it’s presented in John 20:11-17,

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo′ni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

Is Jesus saying that there’s some reason that His Risen Body can’t be touched prior to the Ascension? That doesn’t really make sense. After all, John goes on to tell us about Jesus’ encounter with the doubting Apostle, Thomas. There, He says (John 20:27), “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Yet the encounter with Thomas occurs a week after Easter, well before the Ascension (John 20:26; Acts 1:3-11). And it doesn’t seem plausible that this is a contradiction, as if Jesus (or John the Evangelist) immediately and unwittingly switched positions on whether or not it’s okay to touch the Body of Christ.

Another theory, advanced by atheists like Marshall Brain, is that the Mary Magdalene and Thomas appearances are “proof” that Jesus is sexist, “as though the touch of a woman is somehow improper,” when only “a few verses later, [He] is happy to have Thomas touch him.” Of course, that doesn’t make sense, either. The appearance to Mary is the most intimate of the recorded Resurrection appearances. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene individually, and gently waits for her to realize who He is. He then proceeds to send her to announce the Resurrection to the Apostles (John 20:17-18), leading to her moniker Apostolorum Apostola, “Apostle to the Apostles.”

And what about the idea that Jesus is scolding Mary Magdalene, as if she’s doubting Him? Perhaps, but nothing in the text seems to suggest that she’s being punished in any way.

So we’re left with a puzzle: Jesus, who has a true Body after the Resurrection, a Body capable of being touched, prevents Mary Madgalene from holding on to Him. St. Thomas Aquinas (the one who coined Apostolorum Apostola as a title for the Magdalene) presents the clearest solution to this difficulty, in Part III, Question 55 of the Summa Theologiae:

Or as Chrysostom says (Hom. lxxxvi in Joan.): “This woman wanted to converse with Christ just as before the Passion, and out of joy was thinking of nothing great, although Christ’s flesh had become much nobler by rising again.” And therefore He said: “I have not yet ascended to My Father”; as if to say: “Do not suppose I am leading an earthly life; for if you see Me upon earth, it is because I have not yet ascended to My Father, but I am going to ascend shortly.” Hence He goes on to say: “I ascend to My Father, and to your Father.”

In other words, Mary isn’t doubting Jesus’ Resurrection. She’s just not comprehending the gravity of it. She’s so overjoyed at seeing her Friend again that she hasn’t taken in the radical reality that He has risen from the dead, that He has a glorified Body, that He’s never to die again, that He’s just demonstrated His divinity in no uncertain terms, or that He’s preparing His followers before He ascends to Heaven.

To aid her in coming to these more profound truths, Jesus deprives her of the easy comfort of simply clinging to Him. He does this to call her to something greater, an evangelical service to witness even to His Apostles. In other words, He denies her the ability to cling to His Body for the same reason that He instructs Thomas to touch His wounds and side: to lead them deeper into faith. Or as He says to Thomas: “do not be faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

Sometimes, our growth in faith requires us to have something tangible to cling to; other times, we need Him to take the training wheels off. “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). That’s no contradiction, and it’s not sexist. It’s the Divine Physician prescribing the spiritual medicine that each patient needs most.

39 Comments

  1. I have thought about that statement from the gospel several times. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;”. When one of our loved ones dies. We need to let them go. Not be selfish that we want them to stay with us.

  2. I have also thought of this in light of what we know of the Shroud of Turin, there was a huge amount of energy created/expended/etc when the Resurrection occurs and in light of that I have considered Christ telling St. Mary not to touch him for her own safety. Not that our Lord was radioactive or anything but a similar concept, the Resurrection had just occurred and with the energy involved He may have had to cool down as it were, before he could be safely touched. This is just a personal theory coming from studying the Shroud.

  3. Johnatan i suppose your answer is good. That was the point in space and time where eternal power was touching earthly things so it was accompanied by great energy and such solution doesnt contradict st Thomas. It is on different level

  4. Thank you for sharing this Joe. I enjoyed your interview on Catholic Answers. I often use this encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene when my non-catholic friends use the exchange between Jesus and the Good Thief to support their belief that baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. They say, “Jesus told the Good Thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise,” See! The Good Thief went directly to heaven!” I respond by explaining that they are equating Paradise with Heaven and by reminding them of this encounter between Jesus and Mary which occurred 3 days after Jesus’ death and Jesus’ own words about not having yet ascended to the Father. Anyway, thanks again for sharing this. May God continue to bless you and your studies.

    1. Paradise is heaven: 2 Cor 12:2-5

      2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

      1. Okay, let’s go with your premise that paradise equates to heaven. Please explain to me Jesus’ words to the good thief, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” If ‘paradise’ equates to heaven then Jesus did ascend to heaven with the good thief?? And later when He met the Magdalene and told her, “I have not yet ascended to my Father”, He meant what exactly?

        1. First, let’s establish what the term paradise means in the Scripture. It is used only 3 times in the Bible:

          1. Luke 23:43 “to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise”
          2. 2 Cr 12:4 “was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak”
          3. Rev 2:7 “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God”

          The latter two are obviously heaven, the same paradiso that Dante wrote about beautifully. So, I don’t think we have the linguistic warrant to say that “paradise” is somehow different from the abode of the righteous without making the term unintelligible.

          Second, traditionally, the thief on the cross entered into the same paradise mentioned in 2 Cor 12:4. For example in the Expositio Fidei Athanius wrote:

          “He showed us light from out of darkness, salvation from error, life from the dead, an entrance to paradise, from which Adam was cast out, and into which he again entered by means of the thief, as the Lord said, ‘This day shall you be with Me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43), into which Paul also once entered.” (Par. 2)

          Augustine in Contra Faustum, Book XXXIII Par 1 says that the thief was in paradise with the Father.

          Third, as to your hypothetical question, it is my hypothetical guess that Christ’s divine nature was in Paradise, with the Father and all of the Old Testament saints harrowed from Sheol.

          My question: Does Catholicism reject that the thief went to heaven that day?

          1. ‘Does Catholicism reject that the thief went to heaven theat day?’

            – No, of course not. But once the thief is dead, he passes outside time and attains his final destiny, with Christ in Heaven. We talk of ‘time’ in purgatory and so on but it is only a way of speaking. When one is outside time, ‘before’ and ‘after’ cease to mean a linear, temporal progression.

    2. The best exegesis of this passage that I’ve heard draws together what both sides of this question are saying. It’s from Pope Benedict XVI to a group of Cardinals in 2010:

      “Then there is the faith of the Good Thief: a faith barely outlined but sufficient to assure him salvation: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” . This “with me” is crucial. Yes, it is this that saves him. Of course, the good thief is on the cross like Jesus, but above all he is on the Cross with Jesus. And, unlike the other evildoer and all those who taunt him, he does not ask Jesus to come done from the Cross nor to make him come down. Instead he says: “remember me when you come into your kingdom”.

      “The Good Thief sees Jesus on the Cross, disfigured and unrecognizable and yet he entrusts himself to him as to a king, indeed as to the King. The good thief believes what was written on the tablet over Jesus’ head: “The King of the Jews”. He believed and entrusted himself. For this reason he was already, immediately, in the “today” of God, in Paradise, because Paradise is this: being with Jesus, being with God.

      “So here, dear Brothers, is the first and fundamental message that the word of God clearly tells us today: to me, the Successor of Peter, and to you, Cardinals.

      “It calls us to be with Jesus, like Mary, and not to ask him to come down from the Cross but rather to stay there with him. And by reason of our ministry we must do this not only for ourselves but for the whole Church, for the whole People of God.”

      So yes, “Paradise” would mean communing with God in the Garden of Eden. And it means going with Christ to harrow Hell. And it ultimately means eternity with the Father.

      I.X.,

      Joe

    3. I don’t have the Catechism in front of me, but I believe there is a section about ‘baptism of desire.’ This specifically relates, if I recall correctly, to deathbed desire or conversion. If any baptized Catholic may perform baptism, think how much more meaningful to have had Jesus himself spiritually welcome this good thief to life his life. That life, whether “in” paradise or “with” the creator of paradise seem full of grace, the ultimate bliss. Whether ‘there’ with him or ‘here’ with him.

  5. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but…” Could this mean that Christ desired the His Eternal Father would be the first one to embrace Him after the suffering ordeal which He passed in His passion? It could also mean that Mary Magdalene did not doubt that the person in front of her was Jesus Christ Himself, body and soul.

    However, St Thomas had doubted the fact that Christ rose from death and wanted a tangible proof. In fact, Jesus Christ instructs Thomas to touch His wounds and side. Or as He says to Thomas: “do not be faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

    St Thomas answered with a profound and everlasting acclamation: My Lord and my God…a resounding statement throughout the world.

  6. I heard once in a sermon the suggestion that Christ did not mean ‘Do not touch,’ in the sense of ‘Don’t lay a finger on me,’ but that she did embrace him and in response He replied in a good-humoured sense: ‘You don’t need to cling onto me! I’m not going to vanish in front of your eyes – for I have not yet ascended to the Father;…’

    I do not have the Greek (or the authority!) to form a valid personal opinion as to the legitimacy of this interpretation.

  7. I have also heard, that because it was the Jewish Feast of First Fruits that Jesus as the First Fruit offering and the First Fruit of those to be resurrected had to present himself as that offering. Because he follows it up with “I go now to my Father.”

  8. I have always thought the “Noli me tangere” passage was one of the strongest proofs for the literal presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Observe closely what Jesus says: “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” A surface interpretation is just that Jesus is telling Mary to wait until she is in heaven to touch Jesus–but if that is the case, why would he not have said “Do not touch me, for we are not yet in the Kingdom of Heaven”? If I say “not yet until X”, that means: “Do not do this until X has happened”. So the grammar of Jesus’ imperative is suggesting that Mary will be able to touch Jesus as soon as he is ascended to the Father. But how can that be, since Mary would go on to live several more years after the Ascension? Well, the Eucharist of course!

  9. The great commentary of Cornelius a Lapide:

    Ver. 43.—And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.

    That is, in a place of pleasure where thou mayest be in the beatitude and beatific vision of God, i.e. To-day I will make thee for ever happy; I will make thee a king reigning in the kingdom of glory with me this day. So S. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechet. Lect. c. 13); S. Chrysostom (Hom. ii. de Cruce et Latrone); S. Gregory of Nyssa (Serm. on the Resurrection); S. Augustine (Tract. III on John). He explains paradise by heaven, that is celestial beatitude. It is certain that Christ on the day on which He died, did not go up to heaven with the thief, but went down into the Limbus Patrum (S. Augustine Lib. ii. de Genese ad litt. chap. 34; and Maldonatus by paradise here understand Abraham’s bosom), and imparted to them the vision of His Godhead and thus made them blest, changing the order of things; for He then made limbus to be paradise, and the lower parts the upper, so that hell should be heaven. For where Christ is, there is paradise; where, the vision and beatitude of God, there, heaven. For, as to what Euthymius and other Greeks say, denying that the souls of the saints see God before the judgment and are happy: by paradise they understand an earthly place; that to which Enoch was carried. But it cannot be so—for it is of the faith that Christ, shortly after His death went down in infernum—that is, the limbus of the Fathers, but He did not go into any earthly paradise. It is, moreover, uncertain whether, after the Deluge, there be any earthly paradise remaining. But grant that there be such, it is the happy and joyful habitation, not of souls, but of bodies only. Hence it is plain from this passage, against the Greeks, Calvin, and the other innovators, that the souls of the saints, when thoroughly purged from sin, do not sleep till the day of judgment, but there behold God, and are beatified by a vision of Him

      1. Dear Mr. T. Is it your belief that Jesus descended into Hell and ascended into Heaven the same day only to later return to earth and ascend again into Heaven?

        Could you cite for us where your idea is to be found in the new testament or the early church fathers?

          1. Craig,

            Between His Death on Good Friday and His Resurrection, Jesus’ Soul (fully attached to His divine nature) descended into Hell (more specifically, into the Limbo of the Fathers), while His Body (fully attached to His divine nature) remained in the Tomb.

            His Body and Soul were separated from one another, but neither was separated from His Divinity, which is why the Creed can say both that “He was buried” and “He descended into Hell.” Even though one refers to the Body and the other to the Soul, both refer to the Person of Jesus Christ.

            St. Thomas talks about this in Question 50, articles 2-3 of Part III of the Summa. Hope that helps, and God bless!

      2. Dear Mr. T. Is it your belief that Jesus descended into Hell and ascended into Heaven the same day only to return to earth later and then later ascend ascend back into Heaven a second time?

        For most of us, one Incarnation and Ascension suffices 🙂

  10. Third, as to your hypothetical question, it is my hypothetical guess that Christ’s divine nature was in Paradise, with the Father and all of the Old Testament saints harrowed from Sheol.

    You opinion is material heresy owing to the permanence of The Hypostatic Union

    1. Please help me with this. We both agree Christ harrowed Hell. His body was on Earth. So, explain to me how Christ did this without committing material heresy.

      I speculated simply because I don’t know how He did, but rather, that He did.

      1. Dear Mr. T. ABS appreciates your good sense of humor.

        Kudos .

        Roman Catechism

        First Part of this Article: “He Descended into Hell”

        In the first part of this Article, then, we profess that immediately after the death of Christ His soul descended into hell, and dwelt there as long as His body remained in the tomb; and also that the one Person of Christ was at the same time in hell and in the sepulchre. Nor should this excite surprise; for, as we have already frequently said, although His soul was separated from His body, His Divinity was never parted from either His soul or His body.

        http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4052.htm#article3

  11. Reply to Craig Truglia’s point: ‘So, he spent time in purgatory, but in our time it was over with that day?’

    Yes, if you will. I expect it’s a reasonable assumption that he had to go through the purgatory process, however that may work, but our conception of it in terms of time is merely a figure of speech. After all, when people spoke of indulgences as they used to be classified by time off purgatory (eg. ‘My Jesus, Mercy! – 100 days), what they really meant was ‘the same amount off purgatory as you would get from doing 100 days of public pennance – whatever that amount may be.’ It’s easily, and maybe usefully, shortened to ‘time off purgatory’, but if one loses sight of the fact that these are only figures of speech, I think one can get tangled up unnecessarily.
    One description of being outside time is ‘the eternal present’; so every time is ‘now’ and everything can happen ‘now’.

    1. If that is true, it certainly detracts from the beauty of the story. It also contradicts what Cyril of Jerusalem writes;

      Oh the great loving-kindness of God! For the righteous were many years in pleasing Him: but what they succeeded in gaining by many years of well-pleasing , this Jesus now bestows on you in a single hour. For if you shall believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, and shall be transported into Paradise by Him who brought in there the robber. And doubt not whether it is possible; for He who on this sacred Golgotha saved the robber after one single hour of belief, the same shall save you also on your believing (Catechetical Lecture 5, Chap 10).

      He writes the thief attained to righteousness that righteous men accrue in years. Being that Purgatory was not a universally held doctrine of the Church at this time (“It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire,” Augustine, Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love, Chapter 69). So, I would not read into what Cyril wrote that the thief attained to many years of righteousness in a single hour, but implicitly was still not righteous enough so that he had to go to purgatory.

      So far, I have three different answers here what happened to the thief.
      1. He went to paradise and not heaven.
      2. By looking on Jesus, he was in “paradise” but not literally.
      3. He went to paradise the same day, but he actually made a long stop in purgatory first.

      Is there an official, dogmatic answer on this question?

      1. Dear Mr. T. You quote St Cyril against traditional biblical exegesis even though he has already been cited in a post you seemingly did not read or understand.

        Ver. 43.—And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.

        That is, in a place of pleasure where thou mayest be in the beatitude and beatific vision of God, i.e. To-day I will make thee for ever happy; I will make thee a king reigning in the kingdom of glory with me this day. So S. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechet. Lect. c. 13); S. Chrysostom (Hom. ii. de Cruce et Latrone); S. Gregory of Nyssa (Serm. on the Resurrection); S. Augustine (Tract. III on John). He explains paradise by heaven, that is celestial beatitude. It is certain that Christ on the day on which He died, did not go up to heaven with the thief, but went down into the Limbus Patrum (S. Augustine Lib. ii. de Genese ad litt. chap. 34; and Maldonatus by paradise here understand Abraham’s bosom), and imparted to them the vision of His Godhead and thus made them blest, changing the order of things; for He then made limbus to be paradise, and the lower parts the upper, so that hell should be heaven. For where Christ is, there is paradise; where, the vision and beatitude of God, there, heaven. For, as to what Euthymius and other Greeks say, denying that the souls of the saints see God before the judgment and are happy: by paradise they understand an earthly place; that to which Enoch was carried. But it cannot be so—for it is of the faith that Christ, shortly after His death went down in infernum—that is, the limbus of the Fathers, but He did not go into any earthly paradise. It is, moreover, uncertain whether, after the Deluge, there be any earthly paradise remaining. But grant that there be such, it is the happy and joyful habitation, not of souls, but of bodies only. Hence it is plain from this passage, against the Greeks, Calvin, and the other innovators, that the souls of the saints, when thoroughly purged from sin, do not sleep till the day of judgment, but there behold God, and are beatified by a vision of Him

        +++++++++++ end of quote ++++++++++

        Dear Mr. T. ABS will disengage for awhile (perhaps permanently) owing to your egoism for it is, sadly, clear that you think your personal opinions about exegesis is as valid as that of the Church and its Saints but because the protestant subtext of your objections and assertions is essentially eisegesis, there is no progress to be made.

        You are, in essence, autocephalic.

        1. The source you cite misunderstands him. Your use of high-falooting words does not impress me, it is obviously a passive aggressive way to goad someone. Juvenile behavior masquerading as intellectual superiority, actually.

          Ironically, when you quote what Cyril said at length, he actually says quite a few things that don’t work with modern RCC teaching. I’ll let you read it and analyze it yourself:

          Catechetical Lecture 5:

          10. For the name of Faith is in the form of speech one, but has two distinct senses. For there is one kind of faith, the dogmatic, involving an assent of the soul on some particular point: and it is profitable to the soul, as the Lord says: He that hears My words, and believes Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and comes not into judgment John 5:24: and again, He that believes in the Son is not judged, but has passed from death unto life. Oh the great loving-kindness of God! For the righteous were many years in pleasing Him: but what they succeeded in gaining by many years of well-pleasing , this Jesus now bestows on you in a single hour. For if you shall believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, and shall be transported into Paradise by Him who brought in there the robber. And doubt not whether it is possible; for He who on this sacred Golgotha saved the robber after one single hour of belief, the same shall save you also on your believing.
          11. But there is a second kind of faith, which is bestowed by Christ as a gift of grace. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit: to another faith, by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing. 1 Corinthians 12:8-9 This faith then which is given of grace from the Spirit is not merely doctrinal, but also works things above man’s power. For whosoever has this faith, shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove. Mark 11:23 For whenever any one shall say this in faith, believing that it comes to pass, and shall not doubt in his heart, then receives he the grace.

          And of this faith it is said, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed. Matthew 17:20 For just as the grain of mustard seed is small in size, but fiery in its operation, and though sown in a small space has a circle of great branches, and when grown up is able even to shelter the fowls Matthew 13:32; so, likewise, faith in the swiftest moment works the greatest effects in the soul. For, when enlightened by faith, the soul has visions of God, and as far as is possible beholds God, and ranges round the bounds of the universe, and before the end of this world already beholds the Judgment, and the payment of the promised rewards. Have thou therefore that faith in Him which comes from your own self, that you may also receive from Him that faith which works things above man.
          12. But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to you by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of the Faith in a few lines. This summary I wish you both to commit to memory when I recite it , and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it out on paper , but engraving it by the memory upon your heart , taking care while you rehearse it that no Catechumen chance to overhear the things which have been delivered to you. I wish you also to keep this as a provision through the whole course of your life, and beside this to receive no other, neither if we ourselves should change and contradict our present teaching, nor if an adverse angel, transformed into an angel of light 2 Corinthians 11:14 should wish to lead you astray. For though we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospel than that you have received, let him be to you anathema. Galatians 1:8-9 So for the present listen while I simply say the Creed , and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith. And just as the mustard seed in one small grain contains many branches, so also this Faith has embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which you now receive, and write them on the table of your heart.

  12. The answer has to do with Greek verbs. The English rendering “Do not touch me” (KJV) or “Do not hold me” is only a sample of the meaning, as translations often are.
    Caveat: The wording was almost certainly originally in Aramaic, then in Greek for distribution among the churches. So we’re depending on the writer knowing accurately what was said and stating it accurately in Greek, and I believe the Spirit took care of that. So –
    There are two ways to describe action in Greek. You can say “Begin doing X” or “Continue doing X”. Or, you can say “Don’t begin doing X” or “Don’t continue doing X”. There are no other choices. Greek verbs are exacting like that.
    He COULD have said to her “Don’t BEGIN to touch Me”, but that isn’t what He said. In Greek it conveys, “Don’t CONTINUE to hold Me…”. So from the Greek it appears clearly that she WAS holding on to Him, whether in an emotional embrace or as custom was in the part of the world, with her arms wrapped around His ankles.
    He who touched lepers while doing the will of the Father was not fearful of female contamination form her touch. He needed to go, and He gave her a message for the others. That is all.

  13. I think perhaps Jesus meant, “You can let go of me for now, because you will see me again, because I have not yet ascended.”

  14. Thank you, Joe, for bringing Thomas Aquinas to this puzzle. The truth really does set one free. With contradictions answered, the clarify shines through.

    Alleluia!

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