April 28, 2021
by: Terry Abel

“Do not cling to me.”  John 20:17
I enjoy reading through John’s account of the Easter story.  It is interesting that Mary Magdalene, the one from whom he had cast seven demons, was the first person he saw after the resurrection.  I like how he told her, “Do not cling to me.”  When I went to the Holy Land, and spent time in Magdala, the little fishing village she was from, she definitely became more real to me.  I remember being served an entire fish, head and all, for lunch, and I got the feeling the people of Magdala didn’t waste food. I also got the feeling after being in Magdala, and the reverence I felt that the people there had for Mary Magdalene, that her life was definitely not a wasted one. You got the impression from the portraits of her I saw in the stores there, as well as what we know of her from the Bible, that her life had not been easy, yet she deeply loved Jesus and spent more time than anyone around him during the crucifixion time.  Perhaps he knew that if she held on to him too much it would hurt her.  What a contrast to Doubting Thomas, who was urged to touch him, later on in John.

As I grow older and become an empty nester, I realize I have to be more like Mary Magdalene and not cling to my “fledgling” children, who I perhaps see Jesus in, but stand back, give them some space, and perhaps even tell others about them and things they’ve done as they begin to ascend in life to the people God wants them to be.  It’s a bit like cutting the cord a second time, but I just have to trust God that all will be okay, and that at my stage in life letting go may be more significant than holding on, as it was for unforgettable Mary Magdalene.  I also have to remember that God has promised to provide for all my needs, even my emotional ones.

Father God,
Thank you for the example you give us of Mary Magdalene and your wise advice to her.  Give us wisdom in relation to holding on to others and letting go, knowing your timing is perfect.  Amen

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