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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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.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail