Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-13

11 But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

Gregory: Mary Magdalene, who had been the sinner in the city, and who had washed out the spots of her sins by her tears, whose soul burned with love, did not retire from the sepulcher when the others did.

Augustine: The eyes then which had sought our Lord, and found Him not, now wept without interruption; more for grief that our Lord had been removed, than for His death upon the cross. For now even all memorial of Him was taken away.

Gregory: She sought the body, and found it not; she persevered in seeking; and so it came to pass that she found. Her longings growing the stronger, the more they were disappointed, at last found and laid hold on their object. For holy longings ever gain strength by delay.

12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid.

Augustine: But why did one sit at the head, the other at the feet? To signify that the glad tidings of Christ’s Gospel was to be delivered from the head to the feet, from the beginning to the end. The Greek word Angel means one who delivers news.

Gregory: The Angel sits at the head when the Apostles preach that in the beginning was the Word: he sits, as it were, at the feet, when it is said, The Word was made flesh. By the two Angels too we may understand the two testaments; both of which proclaim alike the incarnation, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The Old seems to sit at the head, the New at the feet.

13 They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him.

Chrysostom: As yet she knew nothing of the resurrection, but thought the body had been taken away.

Gregory: The very declarations of Scripture which excite our tears of love, wipe away those very tears, by promising us the sight of our Redeemer again.

Augustine: The hour was now come, which the Angels announced, when sorrow should be succeeded by joy [John 16:20].

Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. IV (London: Rivington, 1845).

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