Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

What is it you “cling” to? I know, I’m supposed to ask, using proper grammar, “to what do you cling?” But I just discovered you can now end a sentence with a preposition AND you can “split” your infinitives!!! The English language is definitely evolving, it always has and always will. I hope this puts a smile on some faces(marsha?!?) but for most of you, you’re telling me to just get on with it!! So I will...

Mary Magdalene has just encountered the Risen Lord and she is ecstatic with joy and astonishment. She wants to do what is truly human: grab him... feel him... “cling” to him. Who wouldn’t??? Jesus responds by telling her not to “cling” to him. The Latin phrase is, “no me tangere,” which means, “don’t touch me.” Another bit of humor: when a monk declared his vows, a large circle of hair was shaved off on the top/back of his head, which was a way of saying to women(and perhaps not a few men) “don’t touch me. I’m unavailable for romance!” They became monks with a humanly created bald spot to show that they were “spoken for.”

We “cling” to many of our possessions. In years past, some men used to cling to their cars, to the point of obsession. We cling to our comforts, our freedom to do what we want, our careers, moving up the ladder. We cling to people and relationships causing them to be suffocated. We cling to youth and outdated ways of seeing ourselves. How much money is spent on unnecessary cosmetic surgeries, all because we cling to an image given to us by a superficial culture of objectifying beauty. We forget that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” a cliche for sure, but the truth. There are many shades of beauty not found on magazine covers.

We cling to fears we grew up with: the fear of risk taking, the fear of change, the fear of being who we are or were created to be, the natural and tragic fear of people who harm us, the fear to simply let go. We cling to our addictions because they give us a false sense of comfort and security. We cling to unhealthy relationships for similar reasons.

Jesus doesn’t want ANYONE to cling to him, not just Mary. He wants us to love Him, follow Him, but not cling to Him. We have a mission, a purpose, in which “clinging” has no place whatsoever. Jesus frees Mary to leave Him....go... start “spreading the news.” And I’m not referring to New York!! Unless you live there, of course.

Whatever or whoever you cling to.... LET GO!!! Truly, be free.

Happy Easter,
Fr. Frank