A reading of the holy Gospel according to John 20:11-18
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
What’s in a name?
I think I speak for all of us on the memory of our mothers calling us by our names.
If she called by our full legal name, we knew right away we were in deep trouble: “Maria Concepcion de Barrios Trejo y Echeverria, come here right away! ...”
What if she called by our childhood nickname?: “I am sorry you are hurting my lovely baby…”.
We create different ways to call each other. Each nickname, even each intonation of a name projects a different sentiment towards the person called upon.
When Jesus first talks to Mary Magdalene, she doesn’t recognize Him right away. However, as soon as He pronounces her name “Mary”, she immediately knows who He is.
I can only imagine the inflection and tenderness upon how she was called. Not to “hold on to Him”, but to bring the joy of Easter into the world.
Jesus is calling us in a very endearing way. Each one by name, not to hold onto the love and joy He has brought us, but to share it with everyone we meet.
Let us pray for priests that they never tire to call upon God's people and bring the Risen Christ to all the corners of the world.