Question: In Saint John's Gospel, our Lord is heard to say to Mary Magdalene, when she encountered Him in the tomb after His resurrection: "Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father." Why couldn't Magdalene touch Him, while he allowed the doubting Saint Thomas to even stick his fingers into His wounds?1
Answer: As the questioner points out, our resurrected Lord possessed a tangible body, which the apostles were seemingly able to touch without any ill effect.2 One is tempted to explain this in terms of our Lord's resurrected Body being held only in the hands of His ordained priests (as should be the case with the Blessed Eucharist), but such would be a highly conjectural and altogether too convenient speculation.
The Greek text may be translated as "don't cling to me," so that some scripture scholars explain this passage as an expression of haste to spread the word of the Resurrection.3 Immediately after "Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father," our Lord says "go to My brethren and say to them I ascend to My Father...." This would allow us to understand our Lord as saying, in effect, "Let go of Me. A lot of things need to be done before My Ascension. Go and tell the Apostles what you have seen."
The following verse has Mary doing just that; going to the disciples and telling them: "I have seen the Lord, and these things He has said to me."4