The Smoking Priest

The Smoking Priest

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead Naked?

There is something in the Gospel of Saint John that I never understood.  Why did Mary Magdalen think that the Risen Jesus was the gardener?  Gardener?  What’s the deal?  “Supposing him to be the gardener…” (John 20: 15).

Think of a place on earth that is very, very hot.  Think of a time when there were no washing machines; no dry cleaners; no Malls to buy clothes; people making their own clothes; people having only a few outfits.

During the time when Jesus walked the earth, gardeners worked naked.   Naked?  Yep, they sure did.


So, if Mary Magdalen looked upon a naked man and thought that he was the gardener, could it be possible that Jesus rose from the dead naked?

OK, before you have a heart attack, consider this:

Referring to John as he waited for Peter before entering the empty tomb, the same narrative says: “he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground…” (John 20: 5).  Then when Peter enters the tomb, the Gospel tells us that “he saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself” (John 20: 6-7).


Unless I am missing something, Jesus did not go to the Mall to buy a new set of clothes before leaving the tomb on Easter Sunday.

He rose from the dead naked.  He appeared to Mary Magdalen, naked.  I do not know if someone gave him a robe later on, but one thing is certain from the Scriptures: Jesus rose from the dead naked.

Now that you have gotten over your heart attack, why is all of this so essential?

We live in a pornographic culture.  Maybe you are one of the millions of people in America who are addicted to pornography.  What is pornography?  It is a lie.  It is counterfeit.  It is a distortion.  And you know who the father of lies is, right?


The only way that Americans will be able to free themselves from their addiction to pornography is through the truth of the human body.

Go to Rome.  Enter into the great basilicas; the museums; the plazas and what do you see?  The naked body; the truth of the body.

And you know what?  In Rome you don’t see the pornography and the strip joints that you see in America.  Why?  Because the Romans, like everyone who lives in a Catholic culture, are immersed in the truth of the body.

Catholicism is physical.


We have art and music. We have poetry and incense.  We have feast days with food and wine.  We have gardens and fountains.  We have saints and mystics, some of whom are incorruptible.   We are immersed in the physical because Jesus has risen from the dead with a glorified body.  He is not the product of the imagination of his disciples.  He is physical!

“The glory of God is man fully alive” are the beautiful words of Saint Irenaeus.

OK, I am not advocating Catholic nudist colonies.

But what I am talking about is the fact that America needs to come out of the lie and see beauty and truth anew.  Too many Americans are walking around like zombies because they are immersed in the pornographic.  It is all around us.


We need a new romance.

We need to fall in love again.

As Saint Augustine says, “To fall in love with God is the greatest of romances, to seek Him the greatest adventure, to find  Him the greatest human achievement.”

Perhaps the notion of the nakedness of the Risen Jesus is difficult to consider, even daunting to write about.

However, is not the Eucharist the Risen Body of Jesus?  Cannot we affirm that the Risen Jesus is naked in heaven?  Thus, cannot the naked body of Jesus draw us out of sin and allow us to see our own body and every other body in a different way, free from lust?


Although we will always struggle with concupiscence until the resurrection of the body, is it not possible for the naked Risen Jesus to free us from lust and allow us to love correctly?

In other words, is it not possible that the exposed Eucharist more clearly draws us, through grace, to understand the nuptial relationship between me and God?  Is it not possible that the exposed Eucharist more clearly makes the Body of the Lord a gift for me and me a gift for Him?

Theologically, there is no difference between the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Monstrance.  But, we do use the word exposed.


Is this not the same as saying naked?

Is He not open, vulnerable and exposed for us, so that we may receive His love?

Is it not possible that the Risen and naked body of Christ, solemnly exposed in the Monstrance, can free us from the darkness of lust so that we can see our body and the bodies of others with a new vision, the vision of the redeemed?



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Steve Kellmeyer

posted April 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

This essay is the kind a middle school student might write, with the headline “Under Her Clothes, That Woman is NAKED!”

First, the priest is just wrong about Middle Eastern gardeners.
Gardeners did not work “naked” in the modern sense of the word, i.e., “absolutely no clothes”.

On the contrary, those who live in the Middle East tend to cover every inch of skin. Indeed, the farther you go into hot climes, the more clothes people tend to wear – as numerous studies have shown, clothes protect from the heat just as they do from the cold.

Arabs, for instance, wear long, flowing garments and reveal none of their skin to the sun for a reason. The sun is brutal, sunburns are easy to get, and serious sunburn in a pre-modern civilization can kill you.

Even if you look at pagan equatorial jungle or savannah tribes who are often not as clothed as people in northern climes, you find that despite high melanin content in their skin, most of them don’t expose themselves to the sun for major parts of the day. Even the Mediterranean people, who have significantly less melanin, have a habit of staying out of the sun between roughly 10 am and 3 pm.

Severe sunburn, especially in pre-modern cultures, can kill you. So, NOBODY walks around with a lot of skin exposed.

Precisely because clothes are necessary as protection, in those cultures, if you DO have lots of skin exposed, you are said to be “naked” to the sun, even though you aren’t “naked” in the modern sense of the word.

Women wearing any kind of modern two-piece, even most one-piece swimsuits, or men wearing modern swimsuits, would be called “naked” by those standards, even though you can’t see breasts or genitalia. Prior to about 75 years ago, there was no such thing as a swim suit, which is why the sexes swam separately.

Now, gardeners could afford to remove a shirt or long robes and not be exposed to the sun if they were working very early or very late and working in the shade of the vegetation they cared for.

So, under certain conditions, a gardener could afford to work in a relatively unclothed state without exposing himself to possible death from severe sunburn. He was “naked” compared to the general population, but not “naked” compared to our modern understanding.

The assertion made here, like the assertions made elsewhere about the baldachin being a sign of a marriage bed, is simply anachronistic and false.

Furthermore, we cannot affirm that Jesus is naked in heaven.
Jesus is clothed in grace, and thus not naked in any real sense.

Finally, the word “exposed” does not mean “naked.” When we see a headline that says “Priest exposed as bunco artist!” does that mean the priest was found naked? No, it doesn’t. When someone dies from exposure, are they necessarily naked? No, they aren’t.

This essay is simply someone repeating Westian nonsense.

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Mama Mia

posted April 29, 2011 at 12:46 am

This article about Jesus is offensive to anyone with a Catholic sense of modesty and morality. Mary Magdalene was a terrible sinner – a prostitute – a woman who suffered from concupiscence. Her agonizing sorrow touched our Lord and He forgave her sins. Do you think Christ would have brought her to an occasion of sin by appearing nude to her?

To put the thought of a nude Christ into the minds of the laity is wrong. We are pummeled with filth from all sides. We don’t need it coming at us from a priest that is respected and trusted by his parishioners. Christ had a “glorified body”, he was clothed in grace. When he appeared to His disciples he was not naked, nor did He appear to His holy virgin mother in that manner. To imply anything else is disgusting.

Two thousand years of Catholic teaching does not back up Theology of the Body, be it from JP II or Christopher West.

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Steve Kellmeyer

posted April 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm

It really doesn’t even rise to the level of disgusting.

It’s just juvenile.
The next thing I expect from Westians is fart jokes.
It’s about their theological level.

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posted May 1, 2011 at 2:23 am

What ever Father was smoking, it ain’t tobacco! What a ridiculous column. Trust me,where I live it is as hot as the Middle East, and the gardeners do not go naked.

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posted May 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

When I read this article the first time, I thought it was silly. HOWEVER, after re-reading it again and giving it some additional thought, I think Father is on to something here.

1- When God created Adam and Eve they were naked in the garden. God thought about his creation BEFORE he created mankind and was pleased
2- Eden was like heaven on earth in the beginning – that is until Adam and Eve sinned against God
3- At which point, Adam & Eve then realized their own nakedness – AFTER they sinned and were a shame!

So why then would it be so far fetched to be naked in Heaven?! We as humans in our weakness and urges look at the human body more in a sexual way. I don’t think we will be doing that in heaven.

Personally, I don’t care if I wear clothes or not in heaven, I just hope I am worthy enough to reach paradise.

God Bless!

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Catherine - A Spiritual Mother for Priests

posted May 9, 2011 at 4:02 am

This is disgusting and this kind of juvenile thinking is what makes Catholics look bad. This Priest needs prayers to grow up.


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posted May 11, 2011 at 8:33 am

Steve added perspective and Nick made me to smile.
Let us love God and others aiming to the “impossible” like He loves us.
And hoping to be there…

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Frederick Arend

posted May 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

What was Jesus wearing? I imagin that he was always suitably attired for the occasion. Where do Angeles get there clothes? Actually since there superrational beings they are probablu emiting rays of light, simular to the situation when he takes Peter up to the top of the moutain. Although when he appeared to the apostles on the road to Amaus they did’nt evene recognize him. Although he had a real body and ate and drank with his Apostles. He could probably assemble atoms into whatever image he chose to make theme, since he was there before the begining of the world.

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posted May 14, 2011 at 5:04 am

I wonder what would we think if it were still a requirement that men, women and children be baptized naked as it used to be in the first centuries of the Church? And in front of everyone else, no less! Wouldn’t we have fun roasting the priests and bishops over that! (Yes, Egypt and Syria had deaconesses and women were segregated, but that was not the case everywhere else.)

Or what would we say if we visited the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy and saw Michelangelo’s Wooden Crucifix hanging there, or perhaps were one of the fortunate who saw the Shroud of Turin exhibition along with Michelangelo’s Wooden Crucifix which they had shipped to Turin for the exhibition?
Would we be shocked to see Jesus hanging naked on the cross or at the fact that Jesus was scourged naked?

Or what would we think of Michelangelo’s marble statue of the Resurrected Christ that stands in the sanctuary of Santa Maria sopra Minerva Church in Rome?
Would we be horrified that Michelangelo carved a naked Jesus risen from the dead because the Scriptures indicated that Jesus rose from the dead naked?

For that matter, what if we were to visit Churches in Ravenna where we could see in the interior of the domes mosaics which depict Jesus naked when He was baptised in the Jordan? How could the Catholic Church allow such a thing, we might wonder? Or what if we were to visit ancient churches carved in stone in Cappadocia, Turkey and view icons of Christ naked in the Jordan? But we don’t have to go to Europe or Asia to see Christ naked in the Jordan. There are Eastern Catholic churches across America where we can view icons of the baptism of Christ where Jesus is depicted naked.

As for naked gardeners, there really is reason to believe that laborers worked naked. But if you don’t want to dig through the Old Testament or Jewish history, you could check out the local Roman baths where men and women in Jerusalem bathed naked. Or you could visit the local gym (from the Greek, gymnos which means naked) where men and women competed naked. Even St. Paul wrote about the athletes who competed for a crown made of olive leaves. Did you ever consider that St. Paul was referring to “naked” athletes?

If we want to talk about folks being “juvenile,” we only have to look in the mirror. Having traveled to Europe and Asia and asking the local faithful Catholics what they thought of us Americans, it may not surprise you to learn that they see us as having a juvenile and perverted view of the naked human body.

Fr. James’ point about pornography is an important one. As long as a pornified view of the body is all we have, then we will never be able to grow into a mature view of the naked body. We are disgusted with an article about Jesus rising from the dead naked, because we can’t separate the naked body from the images of porn that we have in our minds.

God have mercy on us all!

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Father James Farfaglia

posted May 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

Thanks Jim for bringing my attention to your comment. I also read the other comments for the first time. Some people just don’t get it. Holy cow. People don’t read what is posted and really don’t engage in a serious intellectual discussion. That was the whole point of the article – get people to think. I am glad that you are thinking and I am glad that you took the time to elevate the discussion to a real discussion. Your comment is excellent and very important. Thanks!

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posted June 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Fr. James,

A friend sent me this piece, as he thought it would interst me. As a Christian naturist, what you say doesn’t surprise me, but what DOES surprise me are the long knives that came out! Yikes! What bothers me further is the fact that those taking you to task argue from a cultural bias, not from Scripture. Some act as is they lived back then, but without any idea of the cultural distinctives of that time period. What those of us in this day fail to realize is that people in general were decidedly less phobic about nudity than we are today. Heck, bathing suits (or costumes) didn’t come into use until the middle of the 19th Century, during the Victorian Era (and that’s another issue in itself)!

I do understand the sensitivity that people have about what they perceive as slurs against Jesus, but this isn’t one of those times and you handled the subject carefully. After all, our Savior hung on the cross naked as the atonement for our sins (that cloth we see on the crucifix is courtesy of the artists). Who are we to seek to hide that perfect body?

Lighten up, people and show a little respect on your side!

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posted June 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm

the subject of Jesus being naked at His ascension has been answered two thousand years ago. He was. His clothes were stolen by the guards. He was cruxified as any criminal was ( even though He had not done anything wrong) and was hurriedly buried before the coming Shabbat. No where in that text is there a description of someone going to the store and buying Him clothes, nor anyone giving Him clothes, nor anyone making Him clothes.

He came out of the tomb naked. He walked around in His Glory. How arrogant of us to assume He would need clothes as He was now of God’s making and not tainted by even the smell of our existence.

To assume He was clothed is to add to the scriptures, something we are warned against.

The Godly thing to do is accept what the scriptures say and go on.

This from a nudist pastor, boldly preaching the word of God to those who prefer the naked life.

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Boyd Allen

posted June 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I find it interesting that the Catholics here have no idea that Pope John Paul II wrote a book. And he defended simple nudity as long as it was not used for immorality. “Love and Responsibility”

And I suppose these same people would point their finger at Adam and Eve before the Fall and say that they are naked and should be ashamed.

Consider this. God proclaimed all that he created as “very good” and that included Adam and Eve…while they were naked. God later said “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat?”

If clothing was worn because of sin, then clothing is a by product of sin. So why would you want to insist on wearing a by product of sin to cover what God called very good? And if Jesus is called “The Second Adam” then would it be surprising that he just might be naked?

Oh…by the way… it is ASSUMED that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. No historical or biblical fact supports this. In fact, it is historical fact that the Catholic church of many years ago was the one who pinned that on her because they could not support a woman being the first one to proclaim the gospel “Jesus is risen”.

I am not saying bad things about the Catholics, I am just surprised you do not know your own history or what the Pope wrote about the human naked body in his book “Love and Responsibility”

Jesus came and was not ashamed to be in the image of man. He is the creator after all, so if Jesus wants to be naked, then WHO ARE YOU you sinful man who covered himself in shame and called God’s own image and likeness “shameful”!

Jesus redeemed us and restored humanity to it’s original glory IN CHRIST. ALL has been forgiven. Live like it. Act like it.

Read The Second Adam at: for more information.

Boyd Allen

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posted July 11, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Just by the way, to set the record straight – Adam was not ashamed but afraid in Genesis chapter 3.
This was not the result of any inferiority complex or such like – it was guilt that made him afraid – afraid of death, afraid of God’s anger, or of His promise about eating of that tree? I don’t know.
But even here God rose to the occasion, sacrificing the lives of one or probably more animals to provide clothing for A&E, thus starting a thread of doctrine that surfaced again in Exodus 12, and reached its zenith at Calvary!!

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posted July 29, 2011 at 12:29 am

I sometimes find people so silly………….like little ginger bread men on a cookie sheet…….One says to the others……..I WONT be a gingerbread man……..and jumps off the cookie sheet and the baker says “come back”and the little ginger bread man refuses…… THEN he goes around saying the dumbest things as if HE thought he was smarter than the baker……………….Was Jesus NAKED AT THE RESURECTION? To even debate this makes me smile and remember how my grandkids would try to figure out HOW God could have no beginning…………Naked or clothed………….Ha ha………….Who cares……………GOD IS GOD…………..and will do as HE pleases……………..

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posted August 10, 2011 at 5:51 am

Thank you very much. very good stuff for me.

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posted April 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm

JESUS died Naked on the Cross, Crucifiction was about Humiliation of the subject being Crucified, and the bible says that the soldiers cast lots for his robe… this was to determine the loser that would have to go and take the robe from him

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posted March 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm

In this age of so much sexual scandal within the Catholic church I simply find it a little bizarre that this priest is even broaching this topic at this time. What EXACTLY is his overall message? Perhaps, he too, needs to be watched as a possible predator. His timing and instruction appears to be a little bit off.
Is he advocating that we all become nudists?
I don’t quite get his real message.

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Rev. David L. Hatton, RN

posted April 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

We miss the implications of Scripture–not even thinking what the actual words describing events mean–if we let our own cultural values and commitments blind us. Mel Gibson is the first person I know to depict the Bible’s description accurately. He showed the side of Jesus from waist down naked as He left the tomb. The point is, Mary was not shocked by the sight of a naked gardener, nor her naked Lord. The fact that we our shocked shows how far our culture, secular AND religious, has taken our minds into the gutter.

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posted June 16, 2014 at 1:55 am

Only zombies glued to pagan Catholic Church Hollywood TV ignore that fact that EVERYbody is naked. Creator did not form people with clothes on, nor did He put clothes on “Adam” and “Eve.” only a bloody sheep skin that could no cover genitalia.

Obsession with sex twists foolish minds to think nakedness equals sex. Being naked has nothing to do with sex!

When Y’suah again makes Himself visible on His Earth, He will wear nothing, for His Truth is His body. He gave His human body as a naked offering to atone for the cloaked sin of Man.

To illustrate Creator’s love for naked flesh, He sent Isiah to the people to walk among them for three(3) years completely naked, illustrating how perverse it is to wear clothing to hide sexual disease then prevalent.

Pagan Catholic Church leaders twist and pervert being naked into a sexual thing to make it appear that covering with clothing is modesty – it is the opposite of modesty in reality, since it covers the sexual disease caused by immoral sexual acts.

Talk about a twisted spiritual society!

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Peter 283

posted August 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Whilst I feel that it is unlikely to be genuine, the Turin Shroud does support the idea that Jesus was completely naked ,when He was crucified and buried, as it is now thought that shroud was produced in the early centuries ,so it would have reflected the understanding of the crucifixion not too long after the event.

Despite being told in Hebrews and confirmed by the Third Council of Constantinople that Christ “Became a man like us in all things but sin” until recently the Church has seemed to put all its emphasise on His Divinity. I feel that this has, to an extent, down played the actual suffering He endured and being God, He somehow could switch it off. A lot of depictions of the crucifixion appear to show Christ comfortable on the cross, almost as if He was having an afternoon nap. Whilst depictions of Christ on the cross clothed as Christ the King, may reflect His dual nature, they definitely are far removed from real event. I am not suggesting that it would be wise to show Christ as it really would have been i.e. doubly incontinent and with an erection, as the blood drained to his lower body, but, maybe, it would not be a bad idea to show Him completely naked, rather that the sanitised versions, which I feel detract His true suffering and humiliation for us.

No doubt many will condemn this idea, stating that showing the genitals is both indecent and disrespectful. I feel that it tantamount to blasphemy to suggest that God would create something indecent and I suggest a penis is no less decent than any other part of our bodies: the only part of us that is capable of being indecent is our brain.

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posted January 23, 2016 at 3:47 am

I also was wondering where the robes came from, he was in a shroud and torn strips of linen. Did the angels bring his clothes

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