Seeing Through Tears: Easter Tuesday 2019

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

Who does not love today’s gospel in which Mary of Magdala meets the Risen Christ? There is something very moving about that encounter in the early morning, the dew still fresh upon the ground and Mary seeing him through a mist of tears. Are those tears the reason she does not recognize him at first but thinks he might be the gardener ‘in his stained and dirty kirtle,’ as Julian of Norwich describes him? Or do the tears allow her to see him clearly for the first time, as the New Adam — not so much a tiller of soil but as the giver of life itself? It is said that the Cross on Golgotha was planted where Adam’s skull lay buried. The Fruit it bore surpassed any known in Paradise.

This morning many tears are being shed throughout the world: in Sri Lanka, in the Philippines, wherever death holds sway. But the Risen Lord still comes to meet us in our pain. His body bears the wounds of suffering and death for all eternity but they are transformed now into channels of life and peace for us. Let us cling to the hope they bring, not just to us but to the whole world.

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6 thoughts on “Seeing Through Tears: Easter Tuesday 2019”

  1. The phrase “wherever death holds sway” is incredibly powerful. The tears we shed at the loss of a loved one or at the news of a tragedy far away are a response to death (or evil if the life was taken by violence) but with hope the tears are not the end of the story, death/evil does not get the last word. Not always easy to see or feel this, but it is true nevertheless…
    Thanks for urging us to cling to the hope offered by the Risen Christ.

  2. It seems odd to me that I’ve never read or considered Mary of Magdala’s inability to recognize the risen Jesus due to tears in her eyes. Or perhaps I’ve read about that possibility but it has not registered as significant and so I’ve forgotten?

    The way you put it, Sister Catherine, stuck in my mind and I’ve been turning it over throughout these past two days. So much so I’ve had to return to the scripture passage and meditate on it. I wonder whether I’ve not recognized Jesus in others because of the hurt I’ve felt, or betrayal, and so have missed an opportunity to connect with Jesus’ healing in some instances? And perhaps my forgiveness of the other has been delayed or postponed for a long time because I’ve failed to recognize Jesus in them due to emotional tears?

    I think perhaps this Easter Season might just bear more fruit than Lent has. Thank you for this blog post.

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