“When Christ is revealed—-and He is your life--,
you, too, will be revealed with Him in glory.”
A Meditation on Easter according to
St John’s Gospel 20:1-18
It was in the early morning on Easter Day when Mary of Magdalen visited at the tomb, where the body of Jesus had been buried. Mary, however, could not find his body there. This is what St John tells us in his Gospel.
We can imagine how strong Mary wanted to see Jesus again, even his body, and, thus, how strong she was disappointed, even shocked, when she could not find him in the tomb.
At that very moment, however, St john continues to tell us in his Gospel of a miraculous encounter of Mary with Jesus in a totally and utterly unexpected way. It was indeed a miracle, even more than that, that Jesus was alive, indeed he was alive!
I tell you what then happened next to Mary of Magdalen. When Mary was weeping just outside the tomb as she could not find his body to which she came to anoint with the pure oil, she heard someone’s voice calling her in her name, Mary. It was someone’s voice, which, however, she remembered clearly. Mary responded to the person of that voice with ‘Rabbuni’, which means ‘My Lord’ as she used to do to Jesus.
“My Lord”! These words tell everything, indeed everything including her heartbeat even. It happed indeed to Mary that she was now seeing Jesus again. He was alive! It was now clear that Jesus was risen. Now it was clear too that she had then been a witness of his death on the Cross just three days ago and now became a witness of his resurrection!
She did not know how it happened to Jesus. It did not matter to her, but she now tried to hold him in her arms as strong as possible for she would never separate Jesus from her. Jesus, however, amazed Mary by telling her, ‘Do not cling to me’. Why?
It was not only Mary but, perhaps, each of us as well to wish to hold Jesus in our own arms. Like Mary as we, too, want to hold Jesus and to find him in Our arms, Our thoughts, in Our love, as well as in Our desires or in Our expectations.
On the contrary, Jesus, the Risen Lord, wishes to hold May and each of us in his arms, as well as finding themselves in His thoughts, in His desires and in His expectations and, above all, in His love, through which Jesus will always be ready to give himself to us without reserve.
We can now be reminded of the promises of Jesus, which were delivered in his words at Jerusalem just after he had entered there. It was indeed there where he would sacrifice himself for us even on the Cross only after a few days. Jesus told us,
“When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself”. (John 12:32)
With these words of promises, Jesus told Mary and all of us that his risen life would be not only for himself but that it should be shared with Mary and everybody including us who believe in him and entrust themselves to his arms of Jesus, the Risen Lord.
It is the Risen Lord Jesus who can hold those who believe in him in his arms of grace and love. It is indeed Jesus who can, then, draw us to himself when he is lifted up to the heavens where he as the heavenly Father dwells.
At that time, it will become clear that all the truth and the mysteries of our life are shared with Jesus in his life of everlasting. Here, St Paul clarifies it as follows;
“Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed –and he is your life—-you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-6)
Jesus, the Risen Lord, told Mary not holding him in her arms, as well as not clinging to him for trying to hold him on earth. On the contrary, Jesus asked Mary to entrust her into his arms of the Risen Lord, with which he can hold her and even can lift her up into the heavens where Mary will share the life of the Risen Lord with him which is eternal.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr John Satoru Kato
Priest at the Parish of St Ludovico Ibaragi, Kamifukuoka