Thursday, 13 April 2017

Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere
linocut by Teresa Newham


For this year's Easter card I've turned again to John's Gospel (Ch 20 vv 1 - 18) and the image of Mary Magdalene encountering the risen Christ outside the tomb.   In her grief and distress at finding the tomb empty she mistakes Him for the gardener and begs Him desperately to tell her where the missing body is.  He replies "Mary" - calling her by name, as He does each one of us.

The moment when she recognises Him is pure joy; "Rabboni!" she cries ("Teacher!"), and reaches out  to embrace Him, as any of us would if a loved one had come back to life when we thought they were dead.  Many translations of the Bible render His reply  - the Latin  "Noli Me Tangere!" - as  "Don't touch me!" which seems strange, if not downright unfeeling.

A better translation from the original Greek, however, is "Don't cling on to (your old idea of) me", for having been resurrected, He is in his glorified body and has not yet ascended to the Father.  He is not the same as he was - indeed, nothing will ever be the same again.

Easter Blessings to you all!