“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 20:1-9
The Catholic Parish of St Ludovico Ibaragi’s in Kamifukuoka
Fr John S. Satoru Kato
It was in the early morning on Easter Day when Mary of Magdalen visited at the tomb, where the body of Jesus must have been buried. Mary, however, could not find His body there. This is what St John tells us in his Gospel.
We can imagine how earnest her desire was to see Jesus, even His body, and, thus, how disappointed, even shocked she was when she found nothing 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 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 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 must have been 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 was about to hold Him in her arms as strong as possible for she would not miss Jesus again. 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 arms. Like Mary as we, too, want to hold Jesus and to find Him in Our thoughts, in Our love, as well as in Our desires or in Our expectations.
On the contrary, Jesus, the Risen Lord, wishes May and each of us to hold in His arms and to find 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 sermon at Jerusalem just after He had entered there. It was indeed there where He would be sacrificed 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 Him but that 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 indeed the Risen Lord Jesus who can hold those who believe in Him in His arms of grace and love and who can, then, draw them to Himself when He is lifted up to the heavens where His and our 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 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 of not holding Him in her arms, as well as not clinging to Him for trying to shut 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 He can hold her up into the heavens where Mary will share the life of the Risen Lord which is eternal.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.