Easter Tuesday, 14th April 2020

By her tears and her waiting, Mary expresses her true desire. And Jesus responds. This  is where we touch on our own true desire. What are we here for? Whom do we seek? And the answer lies in some very primal emotions which years of cultural training have taught us to hide. The more cerebral commentators might say that Mary’s display of emotion is a sign of a lack of faith, of failure on Mary’s part to understand, that is, to believe, that Jesus has risen. One wonders what they themselves are hiding from.  When Judas approaches Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus asks him, Friend, for what are you here? But again some commentators will render this as My friend, do what you are here for which leaves Jesus, and themselves, still very much in command. What are you here for? however, is a touchstone question which can unmask its hearer’s true intentions. Judas is being given the opportunity to reveal his true desire. We have it in the Rule when a priest who wishes to enter is similarly tested: Friend, to what purpose hast thou come? One could see the whole story of Job in a similar light as the testing of his true desire. And this is what we are here for: to know our love for Jesus in knowing his love for us. We may come with imperfect motives, and certainly imperfect knowledge, but the question put to all of us is the same, and the answer will come to us, in tears, or not at all. Then we see Jesus for who he really is, and ourselves for who we truly are: in the words of Mary, Rabbouni, in the words of Jesus, to my Father and your Father making Mary, not merely a Rabbi’s disciple but a true child of God. Judas refuses to be unmasked, but tears will come later. It’s never too late for tears, for seeing Jesus as he really is:

So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she hadseen the Lord and that he had said these things to her. (Jn. 20:18)

and Job, too, finally sees God:

Before I knew you only by hearing
but now, having seen you with my own eyes
I retract what I have said
and repent in dust and ashes

Job 42:5,6

It’s never too late for tears.