Daily Reflection – 4/23/19
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding onto me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.( John 20:11-18)
Jesus says to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” Now why would Jesus say this? Was Mary clinging to His clothes? Was she tugging at His tassels? Was she grabbing onto His legs like a little kid? Most likely she was not physically holding on to Him, so why would Jesus say this? I think it is because Mary was holding on to the past, of how she knew Jesus.
You see, Mary, like all of Jesus’ followers only knew Him as God on earth; they did not know Him as God in heaven. They only knew Him from a limited perspective, they did not know Him in all His glory. They did not know His power over sin and death, and how there were still so many things that He came to do. They did not have the understanding of how He came to suffer and die for all of us, and to be risen in victory over sin and death. They were holding on to what they knew, and by doing this they were placing limits on God. They were bringing God down to their level and fitting Him into something that they could grasp. What they needed to do, and what we need to do in our lives, is let God be God. There are no limits on God, and we should not be trying to limit Him or reduce Him to anything. We all need to let go and let God be God.
He is in charge, we will never fully understand Him, and the reality is that God is a mystery, and will never be fully revealed to us while we are on earth. Our simple intellects cannot even begin to grasp all that is God. The sooner we realize that we are the ones who are limited, and Jesus is Lord, the better.
Prayer of The Day
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for the gift of our lives and for the many blessings in our lives. Help us to never veer from you path and your ways. Lord, we are the ones who are limited, help us to never try to reduce you or limit you. We praise you for your many gifts in our lives, may we each be good stewards of all that you entrust to us. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus called Mary Magdalene by name and he calls us by name to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God through our witness at home, at school, at work, in church, at the grocery store and even in traffic.
We encounter Jesus every day of our lives: in the people we interact with, in the rising and setting of the sun, in the breaking of the bread during Mass, in our response to the needs of our brothers and sisters.