July 22, 2019 – Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me…” (John 20:11-18)
Mary Magdalene went to the Jesus’ tomb and found it empty. She was weeping and mourning. Then she realized that the “gardener” speaking to her was the risen Jesus. She was overjoyed and called out to Him, “Teacher!”
Jesus’ response? He told her, “Stop holding onto me.” This might seem like an odd response. Doesn’t Jesus want us to hold onto Him? Isn’t that in fact what gives us life and hope?
What Jesus was telling Mary Magdalene (and what He continues to tell us today) was that she should not allow the memory of her time with Jesus and the uncertainty of what lie ahead to freeze her in her tracks.
The life and work of Jesus did not end with His human death on the cross – it began! He passed the torch on to us, His believers. We need to make His death on the cross mean something. We honor Him, we show our love for Him, by living by His words and following His example.
He does not want us to spend our time shedding tears and mourning, but rather joyously spreading the Gospel message.
When we “hold onto Him,” we put everything on Him. When we “hold Him in our hearts,” we accept the obligation to bring Him to others.