Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
(Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18)
In listening to the gospel today, two questions come to mind. First, why does Mary Magdalene have difficulty recognizing the risen Lord? Second, why does Jesus tell Mary not to cling to him? Answering these questions gives a better understanding of the resurrection.
Mary does not recognize Jesus because the resurrection has transformed him. He does not have the same kind of body as before he died. It has been eternalized. It is more than cleansed and more even than restored with blood. It is recreated so that it beams life. As a meager comparison, we might think of the difficulty of recognizing a formerly shiftless youth who just undergone basic Marine training. His body now vibrates energy.
The resurrected body is not to be clung to because it does not belong to this world. Its eternal nature belongs with the Father in heaven. When Jesus has ascended, he will send his Spirit which has a place among us. That Spirit guiding, inspiring, and informing us will be Jesus’ abiding presence to us. It will lead us to eventual full union with Jesus.