Father Callan’s Commentary on Matthew 28:8-15
Posted by Dim Bulb on April 25, 2011
8. And they (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.
Some difficulties occur here. From this verse, as from verse 1, and from Mark 16:1, it is evident that, not only Mary Magdalen, but the other holy women also, came to the sepulchre; and it would seem that they all saw the angel and heard his announcement (verses 5-7), and then hurried away to tell the Apostles. But St. John (xx. I, 2) mentions only Mary Magdalen as having come to the tomb and as running to tell the Apostles that the Lord was not there. Answer: Some say that St. John does not give us all the details in this matter, and that he mentions Mary Magdalen only as the principal one, or leader among those who came; but this difficulty is also explained from what was just said above, on verses 2-4.
But again, St. John 20:2 says Magdalen went and told, not all the Apostles, but Peter and John. Answer: She told Peter and John first, or as the two chief Apostles, but this does not prove that she did not also tell the others. Furthermore from the commentary on verses 2-4, above, we see that Magdalen’s companions announced the news to the other Apostles.
But St. Luke 24:9, 10 says that Mary Magdalen and the other holy women came and told the eleven the things they had seen and heard regarding the Resurrection; whereas St. John 20:2 says that Mary Magdalen announced that the Saviour had been taken away and that she knew not where they had laid Him. Answer: St. John does not contradict St. Luke; he wishes only to show that the vision and words of the angels had not removed all the doubts and fears of Magdalen. Hence also St. John 20:11 represents her as weeping without the sepulchre on her second visit to the tomb after Peter and John had been there and left. Patrizi thinks that St. Luke 24:9, 10 is a summary account of all the announcements made that Easter morning to the different disciples of Christ by the various pious women.
9. And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him.
Jesus met them. From the explanation given above (verses 2-4) we should say that the “them” and the “they” of this verse refer to the companions of Magdalen to whom Jesus appeared as they were hastening away to announce to the disciples what they had seen at the tomb during Mary’s absence. Others, however, hold that this is the same apparition as is recorded in Mark 16:9 and John 20:14-16 which was made to Mary Magdalen alone. St. Matthew, these authorities say, uses the plural “them,” “they,” because he identifies Mary with the group of holy women, of which she was the leader, and he speaks of what happened to her as happening to all.
10. Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.
Tell my brethren. The brethren here spoken of were not only the Apostles, but all the faithful followers of our Lord, who had come down from Galilee to Judea for the Passover.
11. Who when they were departed, behold some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all things that had been done.
This coming of some of the guards to the Sanhedrim to announce what had happened took place after the visit and departure of Peter, John and the holy women.
12. And they being assembled together with the ancients, taking counsel, gave a great sum of money to the soldiers,
13. Saying: Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away when we were asleep.
14. And if the governor shall hear of this, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15. So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.
The account given in these verses must have come, either from the Sanhedrim, or from friends of the guards to whom they had communicated what had taken place and what had been done.
Even to this day, — another passage which shows that St. Matthew’s Gospel was written some years after the Resurrection of our Lord.