But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet poses the famous question, “What’s in a name?” In today’s Gospel we might well ask a similar question. Mary, having known Jesus for years, is unable to recognize his resurrected form until he calls her name, Mary! What’s going on here? What’s in a name that with only one word its speaker is suddenly and mysteriously made known? Maybe St. John is telling us that when Jesus speaks our name – in a smile, in a word, in an embrace, in any and every experience of grace – he is not just stringing one or a few syllables together: he is telling us something about himself, that in him we are truly known. When we recognize this we, like Mary, come to know him more fully, even as we are fully known (cf. 1 Cor. 13:12).
Practice: When you call anyone’s name today, remember that in that name is contained a person known intimately by God and longing to be ever more known by Him.
Prayer: Jesus, help me to recognize your voice calling my name in the everyday experiences of life that when I recognize it, I like Mary might come to know you more fully.
—Erin Kast, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!