Friends, in today’s Gospel, we find Mary Magdalene weeping by the tomb of the risen Lord. She then sees Jesus and doesn’t recognize him immediately.
In a wonderful detail, she thinks he’s the gardener. In the book of Genesis, God, the gardener of Eden, walked with his creatures in easy friendship. Sin, the sundering of the loop of grace, put an end to those intimate associations.
Throughout the history of salvation, God had been trying to reestablish friendship. Through the death of Jesus, through that tomb placed right in the garden, he accomplished his goal. So now, in Christ, he appears again as a gardener. “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni.’”
Then Jesus says: “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers . . .” The not clinging has to do with the call to proclaim. The idea is not to hang on to Jesus but to announce what he has accomplished. The content of the proclamation is, once again, that we have become the intimates of God: “My Father and your Father . . . my God and your God.”