Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines

Loving Chastely

Some two decades ago, in the US Catholic, I read an interview of a woman who cared for his paralyzed husband for some three decades until he died, while also bringing up their children as the single active head of the family. Couldn’t she have placed the husband in a care home, got married again, and lived a normal life? Her answer went something like this: “It was his person that I married, not his body alone.”

The exchange between Mary Magdalene and Jesus points to such essence of love. Mary loved Jesus with every fiber of her being. Yet, when she met him in plain sight at the tomb, she did not recognize him. But, the moment he called her from the depth of his soul –“Mary” – she knew him instantly.  It wasn’t the external Jesus she loved, but the very person. It was when he called her by name that she recognized his body. Isn’t this what chastity is all about, be it in married life or in consecrated life?


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