I just love the Eastertide readings…They are so full of hope and promise and resonate with me I guess because we are living in the post-resurrection era of the Church and I can identify with it more easily. Well after Pentecost that is, which is a very important distinction in our perspective, but that’s for another posting.
Today, as I was sitting in daily Mass I experienced a “spiritual sisz” from the Gospel. I’ve heard it hundreds of times in my life, but this was the jolt moment…
John 20: 11-18 when Mary thinks the risen Lord is the gardener because she doesn’t recognize him…and then He said her name “Mary”. And she sees Him for who he is.
Using someone’s name is very intimate. They say knowing someone’s name allows us to possess that person, but I think it gives us an ability to connect to, to be in community with to begin a relationship with. We have other examples of being known by name to God and being called, in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc.
It hit me very much at that moment that God has wanted to know us and have an intimate relationship with us, not just humanity as a whole, but with every one of us through every period of history. And God wants us to know Him intimately, he calls us, not just once, but once we hear it we can hear it every day throughout the day. “I am calling you will you hear me and follow me? Be made different because you know me and I know you? ”
Other new things The priest at Mass today pointed out that John doesn’t really care at all for history or whether something makes logical sense or not, for example unless Mary Magdalene was a very strong woman how would she possibly carry the body of Jesus back to his tomb? John is talking to us from a spiritual perspective and that’s what he’s trying to make present to us, the spiritual, other world reality or high Christology for those theology nerds like myself. And I never truly appreciated what John was trying to do, I felt he was being too “hoity toity” with his portrayal of Jesus, I was being too judgmental and closed in my attitude.
Also although all the Gospel accounts differ in the ways they describe or leave out the details with the Resurrection narrative, they all share these things… The tomb was empty, they didn’t recognize Jesus when he appeared to them.