Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene – John 20:14-16

14 When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus.

Augustine: Here the Angels must be understood to rise up, for Luke describes them as seen standing [Luke 24:4].

Chrysostom: The Angels by their posture, look, and motion, showed that they saw our Lord, and that thus it was that she turned back.

15 Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Gregory: We must observe that Mary, who as yet doubted our Lord’s resurrection, turned back to see Jesus. By her doubting she turned her back, as it were, upon our Lord. Yet inasmuch as she loved, she saw Him. She loved and doubted: she saw, and did not recognize Him.

Chrysostom: To the Angels He appeared as their Lord but not so to the woman, for the sight coming upon her all at once, would have stupefied her. She was not to be lifted suddenly, but gradually to high things.

Gregory: He asks the cause of her grief, to set her longing still more. For the mere mentioning His name whom she sought would inflame her love for Him.

16 Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master).

Augustine: She first turned her body, but thought Him what He was not; now she was turned in heart, and knew who He was.

Gregory: Perhaps, however, the woman was right, in believing Jesus to be the gardener. Was not He the spiritual Gardener, who by the power of His love had sown strong seeds of virtue in her breast?

Our Lord, after calling her by the common name of her sex, and not being recognized, calls her by her own name: Jesus says to her, Mary; as if to say, Recognize Him, who recognizes thee. Mary, being called by name, recognizes Him; that it was He whom she sought externally, and He who taught her internally to seek.

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

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