sexta-feira, 27 de março de 2015

MARY, THE MOST BELOVED DISCIPLE


Peter said to Mary,
"Sister, we know that the Savior loved you
more than all other women.
Tell us the words of the Savior that you remember,
the things which you know that we don't
because we haven't heard them."
Mary responded,
"I will teach you about what is hidden from you."
And she began to speak these words to them.


 

Amazing! Macho man Pedro addressing Mary and recognizing that she had knowledge of which he was ignorant! The Gospel of Mary, an ancient scripture of Coptic Christianity, discovered in 1945 at the Nag Hammandi Library in Egypt, reveals aspects of the early church that were previously unknown. The Nicene Council, convened and opened by the yet unbaptized Constantine in the year 325 defined canonical scriptures. The choice of the scriptures was the beginning of the process of removing female influence and of Mary Magdalene (Miryam of Magdala). In this process Mary has been marginalized and even vilified. Many of the aspects of early Christianity are ignored in the canonical gospels.

Even at that the canonical Gospels give much prominence to Mary which is usually glossed over:

1)   Jesus commended Mary to her sister, Martha, for choosing "the best", that is, enjoying the presence of Jesus and listening to his words - possibly this spirit of contemplation cultivated her compassion. (Lc.10:38-42)

2)   Upon the death of her brother, Lazarus, it was Mary who, weeping, met Jesus, and Jesus, moved by her weeping, wept also and raised Lazarus. (Jo.11:1-46)

3)   Contemplation and compassion led Mary to Bethany where she anointed the feet of Jesus so prophesying the proximity of his death. (Jn. 12:1-8)

4)   Mary was present at the crucifixion. All the disciples, except John, had fled but women were present. (Matthew 27:55-56)

5)   It was who Mary sat in front of the grave. (Mt. 27:61)

6)   Mary was the first witness of the resurrection of Jesus. (Jn. 20:11-18)

7)   Having been privileged by being the witness of the resurrection, Mary became "apostle to the apostles" and was the first to preach the gospel. (Jn. 20:11-18)

It is ironic that Peter, who came to be considered the first of the disciples, has been shown to be hesitant and unbelieving at the first proclamation of the gospel while It was Mary who was faithful, courageous and always present and believing who was almost forgotten. What Peter had in its favor was his condition of being a man. For Maria, being a woman was an unforgivable condition.

Among other manuscripts in the Nag Hammandi Library are the Gospel of Phillip and the Gospel of Thomas which also illuminate the human and feminine side of the gospel that was lived in the first three centuries of Christianity. The persecution by the official church of Constantine against other forms of expression of the Christian faith led to the killing of other Christians, the destruction of their manuscripts and exaltation of the canonical manuscripts.

These manuscripts of the Nag Hammandi Library are contemporary of canonical manuscripts and deserve serious consideration. We intend to include some of these passages in future meditations Biblical seeds.

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