St John Chrysostom

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

St. John Chrysostom: . . . thou mayest not endure those who say that He was stolen. . . .

When then [Mary Magdelene] came and said these things, [the disciples] hearing them, draw near with great eagerness to the sepulchre, and see the linen clothes lying, which was a sign of the Resurrection. For neither, if any persons had removed the body, would they before doing so have stripped it; nor if any had stolen it, would they have taken the trouble to remove the napkin, and roll it up, and lay it in a place by itself; but how? They would have taken the body as it was.

On this account John tells us by anticipation that it was buried with much myrrh, which glues linen to the body not less firmly than lead; in order that when thou hearest that the napkins lay apart, thou mayest not endure those who say that He was stolen. For a thief would not have been so foolish as to spend so much trouble on a superfluous matter. For why should he undo the clothes? And how could he have escaped detection if he had done so? Since he would probably have spent much time in so doing, and be found out by delaying and loitering. But why do the clothes lie apart, while the napkin was wrapped together by itself?

That thou mayest learn that it was not the action of men in confusion or haste, the placing some in one place, some in another, and the wrapping them together. From this they believed in the Resurrection. On this account Christ afterwards appeared to them, when they were convinced by what they had seen.

+ St. John Chrysostom, Homily 85, Homilies on the Gospel of John

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Filed under Readings, Sunday Homilies, Wisdom of the Church Fathers

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