Seeing Clearly | Easter Tuesday 2014

Noli me tangere by Fra Angelico
Noli me tangere by Fra Angelico

Today’s gospel about the meeting between Mary Magdelene and the Risen Christ has always been a favourite of mine. I love the fact that the meeting takes place in a garden, and that Mary is weeping unashamedly. She mistakes the person she sees for a gardener, but once she hears the Lord’s voice her tears enable her to see more clearly than any other. She sees with the eye of a heart washed clean by love. That is what purity means and what the gift of tears bestows. There is a beautiful prayer in the Sarum Missal for the gift of tears, as well as a longer, more ornate one by St Augustine; but no words are really necessary. The ‘sharp dart of longing love’ is all that is required.

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8 thoughts on “Seeing Clearly | Easter Tuesday 2014”

  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful images and also sounds this Easter. I’ve always wondered why Mary believed Jesus to be the gardener. Why not simply an early riser on their way to work, another mourner or as we would put it today a ‘rubbernecker’? My answer has been to imagine Jesus entirely comfortable in the garden, examining the plants and trees as all us gardeners do in the the early mornings with a familiarity and joy at each new spurt of growth or turn of the season. And although it is never written, as are Door, Way, Vine, as one of His titles, Jesus the True Gardener has brought me comfort through my life.

  2. Would you, if you have time, be able to post the prayer for the gift of tears? Or point us to where we uneducated Anglicans might find it? I would be awfully grateful, thank you.

    • Quoting from memory, and in English: O Almighty and most merciful God, who caused a fountain of living water to spring forth from a rock for your people in their thirst; draw tears of compunction from our stony hearts that we may weep over our sins, and, by your mercy, deserve to obtain pardon for the same. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  3. I have always been intrigued by the lack of initial recognition after the resurrection. Even those closest to Jesus seemed to need a nudge – a word from Him or the breaking of bread to make the leap. As if more than a visual experience was needed…

    I must echo the comments about the artwork. I know it almost contradicts my point (visual) but the images are an inspiration and focus. I certainly need as many senses as possible to asssist my understanding of things!

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