BEING CALLED, BY NAME
“But Mary (Magdalene) stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?’ 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, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).” (Jn 20: 11-16)
Mary Magdalene only recognizes the risen Lord, Who apparently looked different in His glorified, risen Body, when He says her name, “Mary.” Apparently, He was the only one who said her name like that, – or perhaps He was the only one who addressed her by her name at all, at this point in her life. Perhaps everyone else simply called her “woman” (which wasn’t rude, BTW, as it sounds in today’s English, but the equivalent of our “Ma’am”). Perhaps that is why she does not recognize Him at first, when He calls her “woman,” and asks why she is weeping.
Be that as it may, I thank You, Lord, that today we are given to “recognize” You, by being “recognized,” by name, in the sacraments. First, in Holy Baptism we are given a name, as we become “somebodies” in Your “house” that is the Church. And at Holy Communion, as we approach the Chalice, the priest names each of us, saying, “The servant of God (Name) partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins and life eternal.” Particularly at this difficult time, when we may be less-recognizable as we’re wearing masks in public, I thank You, Lord, for knowing me, and calling me by name, in Your “house.”