a family matter
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned to Him and said [in Hebrew], '<i>Rabbouni</i>' (meaning 'Teacher')." —John 20:16
Mary Magdalene called the risen Christ "Teacher." This is only the beginning of our intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, for we can call Him "Brother" (see Mt 12:50; Rm 8:29; Heb 2:11). We have the awesome privilege to be in God's family.
We need perspective to appreciate our family privilege. A little less than two millennia before Christ, God chose the Jewish nation as His people (see Dt 7:7). Jews alone were the chosen people of God. All the rest of the world could be only "Jewish wannabes." These people were called "those who fear the Lord," that is, Gentiles who tried to live Judaism as best they could. Zechariah prophesied: "In those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you' " (Zec 8:23). The Gideonites even lied so that they could be lifelong slaves of Jews (Jgs 9:3ff).
Before Jesus, the greatest possibility for a Gentile was to be a "Jewish wannabe" or a slave to the Jews. After Jesus, not only was the privilege of being in God's chosen people opened to all, we were even called to be in God's family, to be on a first-name basis with Jesus, to be as close to God as Mary Magdalene is. "This means that you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God" (Eph 2:19).
Prayer: Father, I rejoice in my Trinitarian family life.
Promise: "The love of Christ impels us who have reached the conviction that since One died for all, all died." —2 Cor 5:14
Praise: Jesus set St. Mary Magdalene free from "seven devils" (Lk 8:2). She used her freedom to love Jesus tenaciously for the rest of her life.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002