In today’s Gospel (John 20: 11-18), Mary Magdalen mistakes Jesus for a gardener.
But is it really a mistake?
Isn’t Jesus, the gardener of souls? But even more, isn’t the Garden the place where humans first encountered God?
In Genesis 3, we read that God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But they hid after abusing the garden, eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. At the serpent’s suggestion they ate the fruit because they wanted to be like gods.
But in the Garden of the Tomb, Mary Magdalene encounters the Lord Jesus who calls her by name.
The garden that was lost is now encountered. The relation between God and humans is now restored.
The hope is that the relation and between God and all creation is now also restored.
God has initiated this but, like Mary Magdalen, we are called, to pass on the message of the risen Lord, of the promise of resurrection for God’s people and of the renewed creation.
What a fitting message for Earth Day.
Let us work with the Gardener to restore some signs of the Garden of Eden on God’s good earth.
The image is from a fresco of the San Marco Friary in Florence painted by the Dominican Fra Angelico and his students.
An earlier meditation on this Gospel can be found here.