Wednesday, July 21, 2010


1. No one ever loved Jesus as much as Mary Magdalene. Tradition has always had it that Mary was a scarlet sinner, whom Jesus reclaimed and forgave and purified. Mary had sinned much and she loved much and love was all she had to bring.

2. When she arrived at the tomb she was amazed and shocked. Tombs in ancient times were not commonly closed by doors. It was closed with a huge circular stone. Two things may have entered her mind
• She might have thought that the Jews had taken away Jesus’ body to inflict further indignities on him.
• There were also people who made it their business to rob tombs.

3. Someone has called this story the greatest recognition scene in all literature. To Mary belongs the glory of being the first person to see the risen Christ. The whole story is scattered with indications of her love. She was the first one to proclaim the Christ event to the disciples which is the core of our faith.

4. She could not recognize him because of her tears. They blinded her eyes so that she could not see. When we lose a dear one, there is always sorrow in our hearts and tears shed or unshed in our eyes. Sometimes our sorrow is in essence selfish. We cannot be weeping for one who has gone to be the guest of God; it is for ourselves we weep.

5. She could not recognize Jesus because she insisted on facing in the wrong direction. She could not take her eyes of the tomb and so had her back to him. We forget that only the worn-out body lies there the real person is in the heavenly places.

The only message we Christians are asked to proclaim to the whole world is the message of Christ-event (Passion-Death and Resurrection). This is the core message of our faith. Mary becomes the first and privileged person to outsmart even the apostles. This speaks about the attitude of Jesus towards sinners and women who were ostracized by the society in various degrees. When Jesus asks her why she was crying, it appears to be strange. A person mourning for the dead is very much expected to shed tears but Jesus’ question was much deeper. Why should she cry when the person for whom she was crying is right in front? Today’s gospel is a great source of encouragement and hope for all those who have lost someone dear to them and who think that they are sinners and moreover for all those who have lost their self-esteem.

William Barclay’s Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and the Sermon Bible

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