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  • The Fire of the First Christians - Opus Dei
    all men and women God lived in them and as a result the first Christians tried to seek God s will in every moment they tried to reflect in their actions the same acceptance the Son showed to the plans of his Father Through their daily life through its heroic coherence heroic often only because of its unfailing constancy Christ infused life into the environment around them They were able to be God s instruments because they always tried to act as Jesus himself did St Justin attributed his faith to the old man he met on the beach even though his conversion came later Priscilla and Aquila saw in Apollos a person who could come to have great faith in Christ Today we realize that the results of such meetings are impossible to gauge We cannot conceive of the apologists without the figure of St Justin while Apollos played a key role in Christianity s expansion And it all depended on a single moment What would have happened if the old man hadn t taken the initiative and started a conversation with Justin Or if Aquila and Priscilla had stopped to admire the oratorical skills of Apollos and then continued on their way We will never know What we do know is that they responded to the action of the Holy Spirit who led them to see an opportunity to spread the faith and God made their docility very fruitful We see in them what our Father wanted all his children to be and all Christians Each one of you must try to be an apostle of apostles 4 What enabled them to correspond to the motions of the Holy Spirit in their soul was in the first place their intense life of piety They set aside specific times during the day to talk more intimately with God not leaving it to chance They realized that this was the only way they would be able to find our Lord during the rest of their day We have many texts that show how the first Christians lived their faith When they got up in the morning they thanked God on their knees During the day they prayed the Our Father three times The Fathers of the Church and the first ecclesiastical writers show how they connected its words to their daily activities Among other things this prayer brought home to them the reality of their divine filiation When praying for their enemies they asked themselves how they could show God s love to them When asking for their daily bread they saw a relationship to the Blessed Eucharist giving thanks for this great gift in the same words they also saw the need to be detached from earthly goods not wishing for more than was necessary nor being overly concerned about what they lacked The Our Father became a synthesis of the entire Gospel and the rule of Christian life The times they chose to pray it reminded them of the mysteries of the faith and the need to strive to become like Jesus all throughout their day hour by hour At the third hour the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles at the sixth hour our Lord was crucified at the ninth hour he washed away our sins with his blood 5 The catechesis and formation they received never separated the Christian mysteries from their lives Many Christian faithful fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays the dies stationis the station days They continued working but their whole day was marked by a spirit of watchfulness praying in particular for their fellow citizens Like soldiers on guard whenever they practiced this custom they saw themselves as keeping watch in the presence of their Lord This pious practice also had repercussions on the environment around them Calculate the amount you would have spent on the meal you were to eat and give it to a widow an orphan or someone else in need 6 It is moving to see the bond throughout the Christian centuries between true piety and charity The Eucharist held a special place in this regard The first Christians eagerness for the word of God for prayers and for the breaking of the bread 7 was not limited to Sundays Texts from the first Christian writers tell us that some of the faithful received Holy Communion during the week which at times involved a considerable effort in order not to break their voluntary fasts Any little sacrifice was seen as nothing as long as it strengthened their union with Jesus They knew that the more closely united they were to Christ the easier it would be to discover what God expected of them and to discern the opportunities he had prepared to bring true happiness to so many men and women They did not view these practices of piety as obligatory impositions of the faith They were the logical way to respond to the gift they had received God had given himself for them How could they fail to converse with him to seek him out Therefore they were not content with the bare minimum but did everything possible to give honor to God and to speak with him 8 These norms of piety as we could call them gave them the strength needed to make Christ visible in their actions to live as contemplatives knowing that he wanted to use each of their actions to proclaim the Kingdom of God They never forgot that many great things depended on whether they lived their lives as God wants 9 With the strength of charity A life of piety is inseparable from an incisive apostolate In some cases the friends of the first Christians noticed the changes in their way of life the dignity of the Christian condition is incompatible with many actions which until then like now as well were considered normal Christians took advantage of this contrast to explain the reason for their hope and their new attitude

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/the-fire-of-the-first-christians/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Looking With Unclouded Eyes - Opus Dei
    you well And instantly the woman was made well 10 My Lord and my God I firmly believe that you are here that you see me that you hear me This is how St Josemaría began his daily periods of prayer In our prayer we need to look at him and know that he is looking at us In heaven we will contemplate him eternally and without shadows But we can also discover him here on earth in ordinary life in our work at home in the others especially in those who are suffering To strengthen this clarity we repeat with faith before the tabernacle I firmly believe that you always see me And when we feel blind unable to see him at our side we ask him with humility ut videam Enable me to see O Lord Our Lady s look The contemplation of Christ has an incomparable model in Mary No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary Her gaze ever filled with adoration and wonder would never leave him At times it would be a questioning look as in the episode of the finding in the Temple Son why have you treated us so Lk 2 48 it would always be a penetrating gaze one capable of deeply understanding Jesus even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions as at Cana cf Jn 2 5 At other times it would be a look of sorrow especially beneath the Cross where her vision would still be that of a mother giving birth for Mary not only shared the passion and death of her Son she also received the new son given to her in the beloved disciple cf Jn 19 26 27 On the morning of Easter hers would be a gaze radiant with the joy of the Resurrection and finally on the day of Pentecost a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit cf Acts 1 14 11 Life is a succession of joys and sorrows hopes and disappointments Our Lord expects us to seek him in every external or internal circumstance We should learn from Mary to look at him with an ardent look a questioning look a sorrowful look but always filled with confidence We can also learn from her by turning to the images of our Lady that we find around us The custom of searching out and looking at these images and the love with which we do so prepare us for our encounter with her Son the blessed fruit of her womb Guided by his Mother we can seek the face of Jesus the child s face in Bethlehem the lacerated face on Calvary the glorious face after the Resurrection This search is truly a search for God s face which leads us to direct our whole lives toward our meeting with Jesus In contemplating Christ s face we become open to receiving the mystery of Trinitarian life experiencing ever anew the love of the Father and delighting in the joy of the Holy Spirit Saint Paul s words can then be applied to us Beholding the glory of the Lord we are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit 2 Cor 3 18 12 A Christian has the marvelous mission of reflecting Christ in order to show others the look that God directs at each person as the saints did When adoring our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist for example during Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament we look at the One whom we have pierced covered with blood and wounds and we discover the mystery of God s love the true face of God 13 Looking at our neighbor Looking is not just a physical act It is a human act which expresses the dispositions of our heart St Josemaría urged us to contemplate others with pupils dilated by love for knowing how to look is knowing how to love Certainly there are looks of love and looks of indifference looks which show openness and readiness to understand to accept and to serve and possessive looks blinded by selfishness We however wish to look through unclouded eyes encouraged as we are by our Lord s teaching Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God 14 Looking is not just a physical act It is a human act which expresses the dispositions of our heart We strive to exercise the virtues with the awareness that we have to struggle to sanctify every facet of our life including our sight and the other senses The eyes are not only a window through which we see the world and through which images come in they are also a channel through which we express our dispositions through which our desires go out Charity compassion purity of heart poverty of spirit and availability to serve overflow through one s eyes Apostolic zeal begins by discovering the needs of others their defenselessness the attachments smothering their freedom their confusion We will put ourselves in the place of our neighbor if we are ready to become a neighbor for others 15 forgetting about other less noble interests escaping from the whirlwind of personal concerns to stop like the good Samaritan to spend time and take an interest in the problems and concerns of others We have to open our eyes wide in order to see and remedy the spiritual neediness of those around us Apostolic zeal leads us to never turn our backs on others problems and needs An apostle s eyes affirm the value of every man and woman considered in themselves and not to the extent that they serve our own interests Moral truth as the truth about the unrepeatable value of each person made in the image of God is imbued with the demand to respect personal freedom 16 In contrast

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/looking-with-unclouded-eyes/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Topic 9: The Incarnation - Opus Dei
    herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him by God s grace cf LG 56 CCC 494 The Fathers of the Easter tradition call the Mother of God the All Holy Panagia and celebrate her as free from any stain of sin as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature LG 56 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long CCC 493 Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854 the most Blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of her conception by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ saviour of the human race preserved immune from all stain of original sin DS 2803 CCC 491 The Immaculate Conception makes clear the gratuitous love of God since it was an initiative on God s part and not merited by Mary but by Christ Indeed the splendour of an entirely unique holiness by which Mary is enriched from the first instant of her conception LG 56 comes to her wholly from Christ she is redeemed in a more exalted fashion by reason of the merits of her Son LG 53 CCC 492 Mary is the Mother of God In fact the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit who truly became her Son according to the flesh was none other than the Father s eternal Son the Second Person of the Holy Trinity Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God Theotokos cf DS 252 CCC 495 She did not engender the divinity but the human body of the Word to which his rational soul created by God like all others was immediately united thus giving rise to the human nature that was assumed by the Word at that very instant Mary was always a Virgin From the earliest times the Church has confessed in the Creed and celebrated in her liturgy Mary ever Virgin cf LG 52 CCC 499 cf CCC 496 507 This faith of the Church is reflected in the ancient formula Virgin before childbirth during childbirth and after childbirth From the beginning the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary solely by the power of the Holy Spirit affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit without human seed Lateran Council 649 DS 503 CCC 496 Mary was also a virgin during childbirth since she gave birth to him without detriment to her virginity just as she had conceived him without loss of her virginity Jesus was born of a virginal womb by a miraculous birth 3 In fact Christ s birth did not diminish his mother s virginal integrity but sanctified it LG 57 CCC 499 Mary remained perpetually a virgin after childbirth The Fathers of the Church in their explanations of the Gospels and in their replies to certain objections have always affirmed this fact which manifests her total availability and absolute dedication to God s plan of salvation St Basil summarised this when he wrote those who love God will not hear that the Mother of God ceased to be a virgin at any stage 4 Mary was assumed into heaven The Immaculate Virgin preserved free from any stain of original sin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when her earthly life was over and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death 5 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians cf CCC 966 Mary s royal status is based on her divine maternity and her association with the work of the Redemption 6 On 1 November 1954 Pius XII instituted the feast of the Queenship of Mary 7 Mary is the Mother of the Redeemer Because of this her divine motherhood includes her co operation in the salvation of mankind Thus the daughter of Adam Mary consenting to the word of God became the Mother of Jesus Committing herself whole heartedly and impeded by no sin to God s saving will she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son under and with him serving the mystery of redemption by the grace of Almighty God Rightly therefore the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God but as freely co operating in the work of man s salvation through faith and obedience 8 This co operation is also manifested in her spiritual maternity Mary the new Eve is the true mother of men in the order of grace since she co operates in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace and in their spiritual development Mary in a wholly singular way co operated by her obedience faith hope and burning charity in the Saviour s work of restoring supernatural life to souls For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace 9 cf CCC 968 Mary is also the mediatrix her motherly mediation always subordinate to the one mediation of Christ began with her fiat at the Annunciation and continues in heaven Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate Helper Benefactress and Mediatrix 10 cf CCC 969 Mary is the type and model of the Church The Virgin Mary is the Church s model of faith and charity Thus she is a pre eminent and wholly unique member of the Church LG 53 indeed she is the exemplary realisation of the Church LG 63 CCC 967 Paul VI on 21 November 1964 solemnly proclaimed Mary the Mother of the Church so as to emphasise explicitly the motherly role that the Blessed Virgin fulfils towards the Christian people 11 In view of all the above we can understand why the Church s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is an intrinsic part of Christian worship 12 The Church rightly honours the Blessed Virgin with special devotion From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of Mother of God to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs This very special devotion differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the Incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit and greatly fosters this adoration 13 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God cf SC 103 and Marian prayer such as the Rosary express this devotion to the Virgin Mary CCC 971 3 Figures and Prophecies of the Incarnation The previous article discussed how after the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve God did not abandon mankind but promised us a Saviour cf Gen 3 15 CCC 410 After original sin and the promise of a Redeemer God himself took the initiative once again and established a Covenant with men with Noah after the flood cf Gen 9 10 and afterwards above all with Abraham cf Gen 15 17 to whom he promised many descendants whom he would make a great people giving them a new land and in whom one day all nations would be blessed The Covenant was renewed later with Isaac cf Gen 26 2 5 and with Jacob cf Gen 28 12 15 35 9 12 In the Old Testament the Covenant reached its highest expression with Moses cf Ex 6 2 8 Ex 19 34 An important moment in the history of the relationship between God and Israel was Nathan s prophecy cf 2 Sam 7 7 15 which announced that the Messiah would be a descendant of David and that he would reign over all peoples not only over Israel Other prophetic texts told that his birth would take place in Bethlehem cf Mic 5 1 that he would come from the seed of David cf Is 11 1 Jer 23 5 that he would be given the name Emmanuel that is God with us cf Is 7 14 that he would be called Mighty God Everlasting Father Prince of Peace Is 9 5 etc Besides the texts that describe the Messiah as king and a descendant of David there are others that prophesy the redemptive mission of the Messiah calling him the Servant of God man of sorrows who will make peace and reconcile us in one body cf Eph 2 14 18 Is 42 1 7 49 1 9 50 4 9 52 13 53 12 In this context the text of Dan 7 13 14 is important about the Son of man who mysteriously through humility and abasement overcomes the human condition and restores the messianic kingdom in its final and permanent phase cf CCC 440 The principal types or figures of the Redeemer in the Old Testament are the innocent Abel the high priest Melchizedek the sacrifice of Isaac Joseph sold by his brothers the paschal lamb the bronze serpent raised by Moses in the desert and the prophet Jonah 4 The Names of Christ Throughout the centuries many names and titles have been attributed to Christ by theologians and spiritual authors Some are taken from the Old Testament others from the New Some are used or accepted by Jesus himself others have been applied to him by the Church throughout the centuries The following are the main and most frequently used names Jesus cf CCC 430 435 which in Hebrew means God saves At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name which expresses both his identity and his mission CCC 430 that is he is the Son of God made man in order to save his people from their sins Mt 1 21 The name Jesus signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son cf Acts 5 41 3 Jn 7 made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins It is the divine name that alone brings salvation cf Jn 3 18 Acts 2 21 and henceforth all can invoke his name for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation CCC 432 The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer cf CCC 435 Christ cf CCC 436 440 the name that comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew term Messiah which means anointed It became the name proper to Jesus because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that Christ signifies In effect in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name CCC 436 This was the case for priests kings and exceptionally prophets All the more would it apply to the Messiah whom God would send to restore his kingdom definitively Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his triple function as priest prophet and king cf ibid Jesus accepted his rightful title of messiah cf Jn 4 25 26 11 27 though with some reserve because it was understood by some of his contemporaries in too human a sense cf Mt 22 41 46 as essentially political cf Jn 6 15 Lk 24 21 CCC 439 Jesus Christ is the Only Son of God cf CCC 441 445 Jesus sonship in relation to his Father is not an adoptive sonship like ours but the natural sonship of God that is to say the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father he is the only Son of the Father cf Jn 1 14 18 3 16 18 he is God himself cf Jn 1 1 To be a Christian one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God cf Acts 8 37 1 Jn 2 23 CCC 454 The Gospels report that at two solemn moments the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ the voice of the Father designates Jesus his beloved Son Mt 3 17 17 5 Jesus calls himself the only Son of God Jn 3 16 and by this title affirms his eternal pre existence CCC 444 Lord cf CCC 446 451 In the Greek translations of the Old Testament the ineffable Hebrew name YHWH by which God revealed himself to Moses cf Ex 3 14 is rendered as Kyrios Lord From then on Lord becomes the more usual name by which to indicate the divinity of Israel s God The New Testament uses this full sense of the title Lord both for the Father and what is new for Jesus who is thereby recognised as God Himself cf 1 Cor 2 8 CCC 446 By attributing to Jesus the divine title of Lord the first confessions of the Church s faith affirm from the beginning Acts 2 34 36 that the power honour and glory due to God the Father are due also to Jesus cf Rom 9 5 Tit 2 13 Rev 5 13 because he was in the form of God Phil 2 6 and the Father manifested the sovereignty of Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him into his glory cf Rom 10 9 1 Cor 12 3 Phil 2 11 CCC 449 Christian prayer both liturgical and personal is characterised by the title Lord cf CCC 451 5 Christ is the only perfect Mediator between God and men He is Teacher Priest and King Jesus Christ is true God and true man in the unity of his divine person for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and man CCC 480 In the New Testament the most profound expression of Christ s mediation is to be found in the first letter to Timothy For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men the man Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for all 1 Tim 2 5 These words present the Mediator and his action In the letter to the Hebrews Christ is presented as the mediator of a New Covenant cf Heb 8 6 9 15 12 24 Jesus Christ is mediator because he is perfect God and perfect man but he is mediator in and through his humanity These texts of the New Testament present Christ as prophet and the one who reveals the truth as high priest and as the Lord of all creation These are not three distinct ministries but three different aspects of the saving function of the one mediator Christ is the prophet announced in Deuteronomy 18 18 The people considered Jesus to be a prophet cf Mt 16 14 Mk 6 14 16 Lk 24 19 The beginning of the Letter to the Hebrews sets this out clearly But Christ is more than a prophet he is the Teacher that is the one who teaches by his own authority with an authority unknown until then which surprised those who listened to him The supreme character of Jesus teachings is founded on the fact that he is God and man Jesus not only teaches the truth He is the Truth made visible in the flesh Christ the eternal Word of the Father is the Father s one perfect and unsurpassable Word In him he has said everything there will be no other word than this one CCC 65 Christ s teaching is also definitive in the sense that with it God s Revelation to men in history has been finally fulfilled Christ is priest Jesus Christ s mediation is a priestly mediation In the Letter to the Hebrews which has Christ s priesthood as its central theme Jesus Christ is presented as the High Priest of the New Covenant high priest after the order of Melchizedek Heb 5 10 holy blameless unstained Heb 7 26 who by a single offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified Heb 10 14 that is by the unique sacrifice of the cross CCC 1544 In the same way as the sacrifice of Christ his death on the Cross is unique because of the unity that exists between the priest and the victim of infinite value so also his priesthood is unique He is the one victim and the one priest The sacrifices of the Old Testament were a figure of Christ s sacrifice and they received their value precisely because they were orientated to Christ Christ s priesthood the eternal priesthood is participated in by the ministerial priesthood and by the priesthood of the faithful which neither add to nor take away from that of Christ cf CCC 1544 1547 Christ is King He is King not only as God but also as man Christ s sovereignty is a fundamental aspect of his saving mediation Christ saves because he has the effective power to do so The faith of the Church affirms Christ s royalty and confesses in the Creed that his kingdom will have no end thus repeating what the archangel Gabriel said to Mary cf Lk 1 32 33 Christ s royal dignity had already been announced in the Old Testament cf Ps 2 6 Is 7 6 11 1 9 Dan 7 14 However Christ did not speak much about his royalty since among the Jews of his day a worldly concept of the messianic Kingdom was very widespread He acknowledged it indeed at a particularly solemn moment when he replied to a question of Pilate s You say that I am a

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/topic-9-the-incarnation/ (2016-02-15)
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  • What went on at the Last Supper? - Opus Dei
    Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church What went on at the Last Supper 23 Questions answers about Jesus Christ prepared by a team of catholic theologians of the University of Navarre This is question 20 What went on at the Last Supper Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church May 15 2006 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle The hours that preceded the Passion and Death of Jesus were registered with singular force in the memory and heart of those who were with Him For this reason many of the details concerning what Jesus did and said at the Last Supper are recorded in the New Testament It is one of the best reported episodes of His life according to Joachim Jeremias On that occasion Jesus was alone with the Twelve Apostles Matt 26 20 Mark 14 17 20 Luke 22 14 Neither Mary His mother nor any of the holy women were present In St John s account he explains that in an act full of significance Jesus washed the feet of His disciples thereby providing us with an example of humble service John 13 1 20 There then follows one of the most dramatic moments during this event Jesus announces that one of those present is going to betray Him They all look at another stupefied by what Jesus has just said Jesus then discreetly points to Judas Matt 26 20 25 Mark 14 17 21 Luke 22 14 and John 13 21 22 So far as the supper itself is concerned the most surprising aspect was the institution of the Blessed Eucharist We have four accounts of this event the three Synoptics Matt 26 26 29 Mark 14 22 25 Luke 22 14 20 and that of St Paul 1 Cor 11 23 26 all of which are very similar In each case the account only runs to a few verses They record the actions and words of Jesus that gave rise to the Blessed Sacrament and which form the central element of the new rite And he took bread and when had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them saying This is my body which is given for you Do this in remembrance of me Luke 22 19 and ff These words express the enormous difference between what happened during this particular supper which Jesus had with his Apostles and an ordinary supper Jesus did not distribute bread to those who were at table with Him at the Last Supper Instead what he gave was something utterly different under the appearance of bread This is my body And He gave to the apostles present there the necessary power to do what He had just done Do this in remembrance of me There is a further event of special relevance at the end of the supper And likewise the cup after supper saying This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in

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  • What was the relationship between Peter and Mary Magdalene? - Opus Dei
    From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church What was the relationship between Peter and Mary Magdalene 23 Questions answers about Jesus Christ prepared by a team of catholic theologians of the University of Navarre This is question 19 What was the relationship between Peter and Mary Magdalene Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church May 15 2006 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle The Gospel according to St John refers to the day after Saturday when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Jesus was buried There after seeing that the stone had been moved away from the tomb she runs to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple the one whom Jesus loved When they receive the news they set out for the tomb where later Mary Magdalene finds the risen Lord John 20 1 18 This is all the Gospels tell us about the relationship between Peter and Mary Magdalene From a historical point of view there is nothing else to add The gospel according to Peter an apocrypha probably from the 2nd century which also recreates the last scenes from the Passion the Resurrection and the encounters with the risen Lord refers to Mary Magdalene as the disciple of the Lord In the marginal literature from Gnostic circles we find various texts in which some confrontations between Peter and Mary Magdalene are noted It is good to remember that these texts do not have a historical identity They refer to fictitious dialogues between the various characters as a way to spread the Gnostic doctrines In the gospel according to Mary Magdalene as in other Gnostic gospels Peter seems to disapprove of the so called secret revelations Mary Magdalene had received Another text apparently earlier is the gospel according to Thomas Here there is a story where Peter says Let Mariham leave us for women are not worthy of life Jesus then answered I myself shall lead her in order to make her male so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven In Pistis Sophia Peter becomes impatient and he complains because Mary understands the mysteries of faith better than others do although in a Gnostic sense Jesus also congratulates her and Peter says My Lord we will not endure this woman for she takes the opportunity from us and has let none of us speak but she discourses many times 36 In this scene nevertheless Martha Lazarus sister is present so actually Mary could be Martha s sister and not Mary Magdalene but the reference could well have

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  • What does the “Gospel according to Mary (Magdalene)” say? - Opus Dei
    devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church What does the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene say 23 Questions answers about Jesus Christ prepared by a team of catholic theologians of the University of Navarre This is question 18 What does the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene say Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church May 15 2006 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle What is known as the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene is a Gnostic document originally written in Greek found in Oxyrhynchus in northern Egypt as two fragmented texts a papyrus from the 3rd century P Ryl III 463 y P Oxy L 3525 and another fragment translated to Coptic from the 5th century Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 Both were published between the years 1938 and 1983 but the original text was very likely written in the 2nd century Mary probably Mary Magdalene although she is always referred to only as Mary is seen as a source of secret revelation since she seems to maintain a close relationship with the Lord In the fragmented text available to date there are details on an encounter in which the disciples ask the risen Christ questions and he responds Christ then sends them to preach the Good News to the gentiles and he leaves The disciples are left sad without confidence to fulfil their mission Mary encourages them to carry on with what they have been asked to do Peter asks Mary to communicate to the disciples the words they have not heard from Jesus since they knew that Jesus loved her more than the rest of the women Mary talks about one of her visions full of Gnostic connotations In the context of a world which is disintegrating Mary explains the difficulties the soul has to overcome to reveal its true spiritual nature in ascending to its eternal resting place When she finishes relating her vision Andrew and Peter do not believe her Peter doubts the Lord preferred her to the other disciples and Mary starts crying Levi defends her You Peter always been hot tempered and blames Peter for attacking Mary Then Levi encourages the disciples to accept that the Lord preferred Mary to themselves and invites them to go and preach the Gospel So they finally do This is all the testimony left on the fragmented texts of this gospel Not much certainly Some authors wanted to see in the Apostles opposition to Mary in some way also present in the gospels according to Thomas Pistis Sophia and in the Greek gospel according to the Egyptians a reflection of the existing confrontations within the Church in the 2nd century That would indicate that the official Church would be opposed to the esoteric revelations and leadership

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  • Who was Mary Magdalene? - Opus Dei
    small town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee some 3 miles north of Tiberias Jesus had expelled seven demons from her Luke 8 2 Mark 16 9 which is the same as saying all the demons This could mean possession by the devil but it could also mean a bodily or spiritual sickness The synoptic Gospels mention her as being the first of a group of women who observed the crucifixion of Jesus from a distance Mark 15 40 41 and who were sitting opposite the tomb Matt 27 61 when they were burying Jesus Mark 15 47 They tell us that very early in the morning on the day after the sabbath Mary Magdalene and other women returned to the tomb to anoint the body with spices which they had bought Mark 16 1 7 Then an angel informs them that Jesus has risen and instructs them to go and tell the disciples Saint John gives us the same information with slight variations Mary Magdalene is beside the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross John 19 25 Early on the day after the sabbath while it was still dark she comes to the tomb sees that the stone has been taken away and goes to tell Peter thinking that someone has stolen the body of Jesus John 20 1 2 She returns to the tomb and is weeping there when she meets Jesus who tells her to announce to his disciples that he is to ascend to his Father John 20 11 18 That is her glory That is why the tradition of the Church in the East has called her isapostolos equal to or equivalent to an apostle and the Church in the West apostola apostolorum apostle of apostles There is a tradition in the East that she was buried in Ephesus and that her relics were taken to Constantinople in the 9th century Mary Magdalene has often been identified with other women in the Gospels From the 6th and 7th centuries in the Latin Church they tended to identify Mary Magdalene as the sinful woman who in the house of Simon the Pharisee bathed the feet of Jesus with her tears Luke 7 36 50 Some Fathers of the Church and ecclesiastical writers harmonising the Gospels had already identified that sinful woman as Mary the sister of Lazarus who in Bethany anoints the head of Jesus with perfume John 12 1 11 Matthew and Mark do not mention the name of Mary but just say that it was a woman and that the anointing took place in the house of Simon the leper Mt 26 6 13 As a result due largely to Saint Gregory the Great in the West the idea spread that the three women were all the same person However nothing in the Gospels indicates that Mary Magdalene is the same person as the Mary who anoints Jesus in Bethany because it seems that the latter is the sister

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/who-was-mary-magdalene/ (2016-02-15)
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  • What do the Qumran manuscripts tell us? - Opus Dei
    manuscripts tell us Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church May 15 2006 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle In 1947 two Bedouin shepherds accidentally came across a clay jar containing seven parchment scrolls in a cave in the Wadi Qumran beside the Dead Sea Subsequently many scrolls and thousands of fragments were found in 11 caves written in Hebrew Aramaic and Greek It is believed that they were composed between the 2nd century BC and the year 70 AD the year of the destruction of Jerusalem Some 800 writings have been reconstructed from among several thousand fragments since very few complete documents have been recovered There are fragments from every book of the Old Testament with the exception of the Book of Esther from the many already known non canonical Jewish books and even from some until then unknown books and several writings belonging to the Essenes a sect which had withdrawn to the desert Undoubtedly the most important documents are the Bible texts Until the discovery of the Qumran texts the earliest Hebrew manuscripts we possessed dated from the 9th and 10th centuries AD Consequently it was natural to suspect that uncomfortable words or phrases featuring in the original texts had been defaced lengthened or modified The discoveries prove that the original texts coincide with their medieval counterparts despite dating from almost 1 000 years earlier The few disparities they present match to a great extent some already authenticated by the Greek version known as the Septuagint or by the Samaritan Pentateuch Several other documents have helped demonstrate that there were other ways of interpreting Scripture and legal norms different to that common among Sadducees and Pharisees There are no New Testament texts or Christian writings of any kind among the Qumran texts At some point there was a discussion about whether some Greek words on two small fragments of papyrus found there belonged to the New Testament but it seems not to be the case This aside further possibilities of finding Christian documents in those caves have been ruled out Neither does it seem that the New Testament contains any influence from the Jewish texts found there Today experts agree that in the doctrinal sphere Qumran did not have any influence upon the origins of Christianity for the minority Dead Sea Sect had cut themselves off from society while Jesus and the first Christians were immersed in the Jewish society of their time and were in touch with the people The documents have served solely to clarify some common terms and expressions of that period which were proving difficult to understand today and to comprehend better the extremely pluralist Jewish environment into which Christianity was born During the first half of the 1990 s two great myths now dismissed were in circulation One claimed that the manuscripts contained doctrines that contradicted Judaism or Christianity and that consequentially the Chief Rabbinate and the Vatican had come to an agreement to prevent their publication All the documents are now

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/what-do-the-qumran-manuscripts-tell-us/ (2016-02-15)
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