– Mary Magdalene
|"Noli me tangere." "Do not touch me."|
After Lazarus died and Jesus came to visit, first Martha came out to meet him. And she told him that if He had been there then their brother would not have died. Jesus then questioned her. And Martha responded correctly.
Then Mary came out to meet Jesus and repeats the same words that Martha had said earlier, but Jesus does not question her. Why?
I believe it is because Mary already had the Holy Spirit within her. Her faith was complete and she was led by the Spirit. And Jesus could see this so that he had no need to test her faith.
Martha in some ways though is perhaps the more heroic figure. She struggles with her faith. She sincerely wants to believe, but there is a film covering her eyes. She has not completely given up her attachments to the world. She tries to overcome this with reason, but reason can only take a soul so close to God's love. Reason too must be abandoned in the end. Then the scales will fall from the eyes, and the heart will be healed of its calluses.
Mary stands before the face of God and recognizes Him for who He is. She accepts what she is seeing with her soul and does not let reason stand in her way. Reason says that there was nothing Jesus could have done to keep Lazarus from dying. It casts a shadow of doubt over faith.
Reason is faulty. It can lead us to certain truths, but not to the eternal Truth.
When Mary speaks it is not she who is speaking, but the Spirit within her. Doubt has no place in her heart. When Mary walks her feet are guided by the same Spirit of Truth.
On Easter Sunday, Mary is guided by the Spirit to the tomb of Jesus. She cannot begin to understand what she sees there. Even her amazing faith is not ready to accept the reality which she encounters.
Her faith is so strong however, that she does not give up looking for the body of Jesus. When she first sees Him she is overcome with emotion and imagines Him to be the gardner. Her faith never falters though because she demands to see Him.
Finally, Jesus speaks her name: "Mary". And in a rush of supreme emotion and spiritual ecstasy, she recognizes Him.
She falls at His feet and says "Rabboni!"
Even Jesus had not expected this extreme devotion and He warns her not to touch Him because He has not yet risen to the Father. ("Noli me tangere." "Do not touch me.")
Mary goes running to the Apostles to tell them what she has seen. There is not even an inkling of doubt in her soul. And they begin to believe also.
Christ has risen!
Mary has been touched by the Fire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has been burned. She has offered herself as a holocaust – a burnt offering.
Her soul is on Fire within. She may very well be the first Holy Saint of the New Covenant of God.
Saint Mary Magdalene,
sister of Martha and Lazarus,
companion of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross,
Ora pro nobis.
Pray for us.
Where was Jesus when Peter and the beloved disciple first came running to the tomb? Could it be that he was always standing there, but they did not have the eyes of faith to see Him?
(I imagine "Rabboni" to be a diminutive form of Rabbi – "Master" or "Teacher". As if to say "dear Master" or "beloved Teacher.")
Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."
Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Then the disciples went back to their homes.
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."
Mary Mag'dalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you." And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.