These are interesting words, ‘Do not cling to me.” I wonder what Jesus means by this? He gives us a hint with what he says next, “I have not yet ascended to the Father.” Jesus tells Mary that he has not yet finished his mission. He is yet to return to his Father in heaven. There are times when we too cling to things that we should not! This is what Jesus is warning us not to do. It is not as if we have the opportunity to cling to the resurrected but yet non-ascended Jesus, however, we are often tempted to cling to ideas of God and Jesus that are not true. We have all had to overcome childish images of God as the ‘judge waiting to judge the world,’ or the ‘one who is making a list of our good deeds and bad deeds.’ When we hear the Good News proclaimed by Jesus, we discover that we have to reform our image and remodel it along the lines of a God of love.

 

This can be a very difficult thing to do. It is hard to discard old images and ways of thinking. However, if we want to be true to the revelation of Jesus this is exactly what we have to do. We have to let go of the idea that we necessarily have the right concept of God and his nature and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the true image and understanding of our God. If we are willing to do this we will discover that God is ever willing to make himself known to us. The trouble with people today is that too often we do not want to admit we are wrong or that we have made a mistake! We need to grow in humility and not cling to wrong ideas just for the sake of our pride.

 

The reason why Jesus has to return to the Father is in order to send us the Holy Spirit. When we cling to old ideas and false images of God we do not allow the fullness of his power and grace to come into our lives; we limit his influence in our lives through our misguided notions of who he is and what he wants to do for us. The challenge for every disciple of Jesus is to open our hearts to the grace of his Spirit and to allow him to speak the full truth of his love into our lives and so transform us and recreate us to be the people he wants us to be.

 

What are the false images and ideas of God that I struggle to leave behind me?

 

Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind to the truth of who God is and allow me to surrender my life fully to his love.