Getting Possessed for Easter, My, Oh My!

Getting Possessed for Easter, My, Oh My! April 11, 2020

My, oh my!

Three depictions by Tissot of Mary Magdalene on the morning of Christ's resurrection. My, oh my!
“Mary Magdalene Questions the Angels in the Tomb,” “Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene” and “Touch Me Not,” by J. Tissot. Brooklyn Museum / Public Domain.

John’s Easter Morning Gospel [Jn. 20:11-18] is full of the word my spilling time and again from the lips of both Mary Magdalene and the Christ: MY Lord, MY Teacher, MY brothers, MY Father, MY God.

Moreover, even as Christ uses the word your he does so to encourage his disciples to share HIS use of the word my: MY Father who is YOUR Father, MY God who is YOUR God.

This Easter Morning, Mary Magdalene was the first to use the word my.

MY Lord— this was the first time in John’s Gospel that anyone called Christ MY Lord.

The second and only other time was the apostle Thomas who called Christ MY Lord and MY God.

Mary Magdalene, just in saying They have taken MY Lord, is already holding on to him with words— no mention of hands.

After she realized he was standing before her, the Gospel bothers to say she spoke in Hebrew: Rabbouni.

That is a form of the Hebrew word rabbi, a title for a teacher.

Others in the Gospel have already given Christ the title rabbi.

Mary Magdalene was the first to call him Rabbouni— which in truth means MY Rabbi (MY teacher).

First MY Lord, now MY Teacher— she is still holding on to him with words again— no mention of hands.

The Lord answers straightaway: Stop holding on to ME, for I have not yet ascended to the FATHER.

He goes on to hold out for her that she should hold on to the FATHER instead: to my Father and YOUR Father, to my God and YOUR God.

My, oh my— my, oh my!

At the heart of this short meeting in a garden abloom with possessives, the Lord pointed away from himself and to the Father.

Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

It is as if to encourage us to join him in holding on to the Father: to my Father and YOUR Father, to my God and YOUR God.

However, there is not only a Father to hold on to.

For the first time in the Gospel, the Lord uses the word brothers to refer to his own disciples.

Furthermore, he calls them MY brothers.

But go to MY BROTHERS and tell them, ‘I am going to MY Father and YOUR Father, to MY God and YOUR God.’

Christ the Son of God, now that he is risen in glory from the dead, now that he is more unlike us than before, now he holds on to us as his brothers and sisters.

As a man who was to die as we die, he never called us brothers.

But risen in glory from the dead, more unlike us than ever before, now for the first time he calls us his brothers— MY brothers.

That is his sign and his word that we are to share in his resurrection and share in his ascension and share in his God and share in his Father.

That is what OUR risen Lord holds out for us to hold on to.

OUR resurrection, OUR ascension, OUR God, OUR Father!

My, oh my, indeed!

Turn. Love. Repeat.


Dear Readers of “Turn. Love. Repeat.”

California where I reside had a new law go into effect on January 1, 2020. California Assembly Bill 5 forbids freelance writers, editors and photographers from providing more than 34 content submissions to a media organization per year unless the organization hires the freelancer as a salaried employee. Patheos is a media organization, and I am a freelancer. So now I must limit my posts to 34 per year, or 1 post about every 10 days.

So as not to exceed my legal limit, between my postings here at Patheos I will publish my “extra” pieces at my personal blog, Monk Notes.


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