Thursday, 26 June 2014

St Mark 16:1-11

Verses 1-7 of St Mark 16 are set as the Gospel for Easter Sunday. St Mark 16:

Et cum transisset sabbatum, Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi, et Salome emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum. 2 Et valde mane una sabbatorum, veniunt ad monumentum, orto jam sole. 3 Et dicebant ad invicem: Quis revolvet nobis lapidem ab ostio monumenti? 4 Et respicientes viderunt revolutum lapidem. Erat quippe magnus valde. 5 Et introëuntes in monumentum viderunt juvenem sedentem in dextris, coopertum stola candida, et obstupuerunt. 6 Qui dicit illis: Nolite expavescere: Jesum quæritis Nazarenum, crucifixum: surrexit, non est hic, ecce locus ubi posuerunt eum. 7 Sed ite, dicite discipulis ejus, et Petro, quia præcedit vos in Galilæam: ibi eum videbitis, sicut dixit vobis. 8 At illæ exeuntes, fugerunt de monumento: invaserat enim eas tremor et pavor: et nemini quidquam dixerunt: timebant enim. 9 Surgens autem mane prima sabbati, apparuit primo Mariæ Magdalene, de qua ejecerat septem dæmonia. 10 Illa vadens nuntiavit his, qui cum eo fuerant, lugentibus et flentibus. 11 Et illi audientes quia viveret, et visus esset ab ea, non crediderunt.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. [2] And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. [3] And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? [4] And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. [5] And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. [6] Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you. [8] But they going out, fled from the sepulchre. For a trembling and fear had seized them: and they said nothing to any man; for they were afraid. [9] But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils. [10] She went and told them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping.[11] And they hearing that he was alive, and had been seen by her, did not believe. 

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 1. And when the Sabbath was past: that is to say, at the beginning of the night before the Lord’s day. “After a sad week comes the radiance of a happy day,” says the Scholiast.

Mary of Jacob (Vulg.), i.e., Mary, the mother of James the Less and Jude, as the Arabic version gives it, and the wife of Cleopas. And Salome: the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John.

That coming they might anoint Jesus. According to the custom of the Jews, says Theophylact; that the body might be preserved sweet. Spices are of a drying nature. They did not realise the dignity of Christ’s Divinity, nor His resurrection. But they loved Him very tenderly, both as a man and a prophet, although now dead.

Ver. 6. Who was crucified: He is risen; He is not here. “The angel is not ashamed of the cross,” says Theophylact, “for in it is the salvation of men.” The Interlinear says, “The cross’s bitter root is gone; the flower of life with its fruits, which lay in death, has arisen in glory.”

Go, tell His disciples. “The women are bid,” says the Interlinear, “to announce it to the apostles, because as by a woman (Eve) death was announced, by a woman it might be told that life had risen again.”

And Peter. “That him whom a woman had made deny, a woman might make confess,” says Druthmar. The Scholiast in S. Jerome adds that “Peter was named especially because he counted himself unworthy of being a disciple, because he had thrice denied his Master.” And S. Gregory (Hom. 21, in Evang.) says, “If the angel had not named Peter, he would not have dared to come among the disciples. He is called, therefore, by name, that he might not despair.”

Ver. 8. For a trembling (of body) and fear (of mind) had seized them. Theophylact says, “έκστασις, that is, stupor, at the sight of the angel had come on them.” But this astonishment was mingled with intense joy. For they were astounded and were glad at the wonderful things which they heard, even that Jesus their beloved was risen from the dead.

For they were afraid. Not only because of the vision of angels, but also “on account of the Jews,” says Euthymius, “lest they should appear to have themselves stolen away Jesus; lest they should kill them when they heard that they had proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus: as shortly afterwards the Jews placed Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Lazarus in a ship without oars or sail, and sent them to what would have been certain destruction had not God brought them in safety to Marseilles.”

Ver. 9. Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils. Mark adds this to show the power of repentance and love. With these was Magdalene the sinner so inflamed, that she deserved first to see Christ risen again, that from her sinners might learn not to despair, but vehemently to love; for so they shall surpass the Holy Innocents in grace and glory. So Bede, “Because where sin abounded, grace hath superabounded.” Bede adds, “A woman was the beginner of transgression. A woman first tasted death, but in Magdalene woman first saw the resurrection, that woman might not bear the perpetual guilt of transgression among men.” 

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