Today’s Gospel reading gives us the appearance of the Risen Lord to Mary Magdalene: ‘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). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’
Duccio’s painting tells the story in graphic imagery. ‘Do not hold me’, ‘Noli me tangere’, says Jesus. How are we to understand this? The Risen Lord has not yet fully accomplished His mission, and cannot be held back from it. But He calls her by her name, and so she recognises Him.
In these days of Eucharistic deprivation, Jesus still knows us by our name, and calls us by it. If we cannot know Him in the breaking of bread, we can still know Him in the depths of our hearts, where He is at home. May God bless you, and keep you sure of this.