Saint Mary of Magdala

“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.’”” (John 20:17.)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“Now that the words addressed to Mary are not applicable to the Godhead of the Only Begotten, one may learn from the intention with which they were uttered. For he who humbled himself to a level with human littleness is the one who spoke these words. He from whom we were formerly alienated by our revolt has become our Father and our God. Accordingly in the passage cited above the Lord brings the good news of this benefit. And the words are not a proof of the degradation of the Son but the good news of our reconciliation to God. For that which has taken place in Christ’s humanity is a common boon bestowed on humankind generally. For as when we see in him the weight of the body that naturally gravitates to earth ascending through the air into the heavens, we believe according to the words of the apostle that we also “shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Even so, when we hear that the true God and Father has become the God and Father of our Firstfruits, we no longer doubt that the same God has become our God and Father too, inasmuch as we have learned that we shall come to the same place where Christ has entered for us as our forerunner.” (Against Eunomius, 12.)

O God,
Whose Only Begotten Son
entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others
with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection,
grant, we pray,
that through her intercession and example
we may proclaim the living Christ
and come to see him reigning in your glory.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen