rabbouni | John 20.15-18
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 Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for 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 that he had said these things to her. John 20.15-18 | ESV
Mary totally assumed it was the groundskeeper talking to her, and so she asked him the same question as she looked away – “Please sir, if you’ve carried him off somewhere, please just tell me where you put him and I’ll come take him off your hands.” Then he says to her, Jesus does, “Miriam.” Mary’s eyes shot back to the ‘groundskeeper,’ and her ears having opened her eyes she gasped in their shared native tongue, “Rabbouni!” (translation: “Oh my dear teacher!”). Taking hold of her hands now grasping at him, he tells her gently, “You have to let me go! Soon I’ll be heading back – going up, more like it! – to my Abba. So off to my brothers, and tell them where I’m going – up to Abba, mine and theirs; up to God, mine and theirs.” Now it’s Miriam the Magdalene who’s making tracks, spilling all this at the feet of the disciples: “I have seen the Lord! And he said thus and such to me!” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Your turn now. Reread the entire text for this week. Then sit with it in silence. Open your imagination. Put yourself there at the tomb. Disciples have come and gone, and you still stand there with tears from tortured questions. And then you see him – but you don’t know it’s him. “Why all the tears?” you hear him say to you. You turn away to explain, but then he says it. One word. The one word that breaks you, that melts you. What does he call you? What does he say to you? What does he tell you to do?
And then let him lead you in your response to his voice.
Mary seems to be trying to hold on to the Jesus she had known and Jesus is telling her to let go.
What outdated images of Jesus, of the Divine, do you need to release?
Lord, give me the grace to cling to you as you are, not as I remember you being or wish for you to be. Confront me with the fresh possibilities of resurrection life outside the tomb of my own shattered dreams. Unleash resurrection in and through me! Through Christ.