This has been an odd Easter, and honestly it seems weird to celebrate the Easter season. Which is definitely a shame! After a long Lent that was full of worry for all of us for many reasons, having a glorious Easter season would be wonderful. And yet, it seems like we are not going to have that sort of celebratory Easter season. Instead, we are having a very quiet Easter season which seems more like an extension of Lent than of Easter.
And so, I would like to share a picture that I’ve been meditating on to help get me through this odd sort of Easter season:
It is a picture of Jesus meeting Saint Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection. He is appearing to her in His glory while she sees Him for who He is for the first time in astonishment. He is resurrected, alleluia!
According to the museum which houses this painting, title of this painting is called “Resurrection,” which is probably a mistake. After all, pictures like this are usually entitled “Noli Me Tangere” or, literally, “Don’t Touch Me.” After all, these were the words that Jesus said to Saint Mary Magdalene after she first recognized Him after His Resurrection.
And yet, what a lovely mistake! She is one of the first people who viewed Him after His Resurrection, after all, and so in a way, this scene is a sort of revealing of the glorious Resurrection that occurred in the way the Lord chose to reveal Himself to us. After all, nobody actually saw the Resurrection. All the pictures which show Jesus rising triumphantly out of the tomb are just artistic interpretations. So, in a way, this painting is a much more accurate depiction of how the Resurrection unfolded, according to the human witnesses of the Gospel.
Which reminds me: it was not the grand entrance that Christ chose to reveal His Glorious Resurrection to us. It was a personal interaction with one of His most beloved disciples, Saint Mary Magdalene.
And even she didn’t recognize Him at first! When Jesus first approached her, she believed He was merely the gardener. Besides, her heart was too heavy with sorrow and grief for her to even think properly. After all, her Lord was gone!
It was only when He called out, “Mary!” did she recognize Jesus fully.
Which brings me to these sorts of odd days…
It can be tempting to feel a bit lost and strange right now. There is much to be worried about in the world, and our hearts definitely feel heavier this Easter season as our world faces very real problems. In a way, all of us are facing grief as the unknown looms threateningly ahead. Worst yet, we do not even have the comfort of our parishes in these trying times!
And yet, Jesus still loves us.
And Jesus still calls us, even in the midst of our sorrows and grief, and reminds us that of His Presence, even in this strange Easter season in which His Presence seems very much gone.
He is risen!
And, even in the midst of this very scary time, He is still present with us, loving us all the while.
And, in the end, His love is the only thing that matters.