Gardens, Angels, and Siblings: Genesis and the Holy Gospel According to Mary Magdalene

The Book of Genesis and the Gospel according to John both open with the words: In the beginning.

Both tell of a garden where new life began and angels appeared.

In Genesis, the first coming of holy angels was when the Lord drove man and woman out of the Garden of Eden and had angels block the way back in to the tree of life.

In John’s Gospel, the first and only appearance of angels was in the Garden of New Life, the Garden of Resurrection.

Mary Magdalene saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

They blocked Mary not from the tree of life, but from the stone of death that had held the Lord’s body from head to toe.

So Mary turned away from the stone of death, and then she saw the Lord of Life without knowing him.

He knew her and her name full well, but he chose first to call her Woman.

WOMAN, why are you weeping?

Woman: that is another echo of Genesis and the Garden of Eden, where the first woman lived without sin and with NO NAME.

The first woman did NOT receive the name Eve until AFTER she and the first man had first sinned against the Lord.

Now, in the New Eden of the Gospel, Mary did not know it was the Lord speaking to her, calling her Woman in a new garden where sin and death met defeat.

Only when he spoke a second time and said her old name, Mary, did her mind’s eyes open to all that was new in her Teacher, Rabbouni.

Then he gave her a command.

He sent her out of the New Garden of Eden, not banishing her, but giving her a mission to preach the Gospel of New Life to his disciples.

He gave her a Gospel of only one saying.

“But go to MY brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to MY Father and YOUR Father,
to MY God and YOUR God.’”

Even that is an echo of Genesis [2:23]: This at last is bone of MY bones and flesh of MY flesh….

Mary went to the Lord’s disciples, his brothers and sisters, the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, but she added one line of her own to that Gospel: I have seen the Lord.

And then she told them just what he had told her.

“But go to my BROTHERS and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”

This was the FIRST time that the Lord called his disciples his siblings, his brothers and sisters.

And now they learn through Mary Magdalene this new Gospel:

  • that their Teacher has risen from the dead;
  • that he is truly their Lord and their God, Son of God, having God as his Father;
  • that he is also their brother;
  • but that since they are the brothers and sisters of the Son of God, then God is their Father also.

‘I am going to MY Father and YOUR Father,
to MY God and YOUR God.’”

You and I meet the Risen Lord in his Gospel, in his Body, and in his Blood.

As we take him into our lives, we take in the new life of rising from the dead ourselves as sons and daughters of God.

God in Christ is bone of our bones risen from the dead, and is flesh of our flesh risen from the dead.

May our lives show the world that we, like Mary Magdalene, have seen the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mary Magdalene.
I have seen the Lord.

You and I are his sisters and brothers.
He is going to his Father who is our Father also,
to his God who is our God also.
The Gospel of the Lord.

Ongoing Conversion
Ongoing Conversion

Published by Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, O.S.B.

Benedictine Monk and Priest of Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, California, in the Order of Saint Benedict

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