The Appearance to Mary Magdalene

by FLL Editorial Team

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.$0"2$ Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
John 20:11-18

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. She loved and doubted: she saw, and did not recognize Him.

Perhaps Mary was right in believing Jesus to be the gardener. Was He not the spiritual Gardener, who by the power of His love had sown strong seeds of virtue in her heart? But how is it that, as soon as she sees the gardener, as she supposes Him to be, she says without having told Him who it was she was seeking, "Sir, if you have borne Him from here?" It arises from her love; when one loves a person, one never thinks that anyone else can be ignorant of him.

Our Lord, after calling her 'Woman', and not being recognized, calls her by her own name as if to say, "Recognize Him, who recognizes you." Mary, being called by name, recognizes Him; that it was He whom she sought externally, and He who taught her to seek internally. "She turned herself, and says to Him, 'Rabooni'; which is to say, Master."

St. John does not add what she did upon recognizing Him, but we know from what our Lord said to her: "Jesus says to her, 'Touch Me not.'" Mary then had tried to embrace His feet, but was not allowed. Why not? The reason follows: "For I am not yet ascended to My Father."

So the sin of mankind is buried in the very place whence it came forth. For whereas in Paradise the woman gave the man the deadly fruit, a woman from the sepulcher announced life to men; as a woman had delivered the words of the serpent who slew us, a woman delivers the message of Him who raises us from the dead.

參考 References:
Catena Aurea (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Homily 25 on the Gospels (St. Gregory the Great)