So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy,
and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said,
And they came to him, took hold of his feet,
and worshiped him. — Matt. 28:8-9
Fear and great joy. Ran. Greetings! Took hold of his feet, and worshiped.
What a scene! Mary Magdalene and the “other Mary,” after seeing the angels and hearing their proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection, sped off only to be stopped “suddenly” by Jesus greeting them. Imagine how disorienting this all must have been for them. And their reaction? To seize hold of his feet!
How tender, how human, how intimate.
The verb “to seize” used here was used in only one other place in the Gospel of Matthew: in the Garden of Gethsemane when, after Judas’ betrayal, the Temple guards seized Jesus to take him off for trial and execution (26:50).
How lovely that now Jesus’ feet, forever bearing wounds opened by betrayal, are seized by joyful love from these faithful women who never fled during the Passion (cf Matt 27:55-56). It is most fitting that they, who had come to the tomb to honor Jesus’ dead body, are the first to worship him as Risen.
Isaiah 52:7 rings through these messengers of the Messenger:
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Those feet are worthy of worship, for
he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his wounds we are healed. — Isaiah 53:5
The feet of a God who came to wash his creatures’ feet, symbols of God’s extreme humility and tender love. Let us become like this Most Low God whom we worship.