This is the more exact translation of the original Greek (the more familiar translation is “Do not touch me”) that literally means, “Don’t begin to hold unto me.” So Mary Magdalene has been touching the Risen Lord until he stops her.
Mary Magdalene weeps because of Jesus’ death. Then, when she stoops down to enter the tomb, she continues to weep. But when asked by the two angels why she is weeping, she reasons out, “The body of Jesus has been taken away.” She says the same to the Risen Jesus whom she takes to be the gardener.
When her name is called, she right away recognizes Jesus, saying, “Rabbouni,” meaning my great one or Teacher. Her mood changes immediately. She stops crying and becomes excited. She does not stop touching Jesus until she is told to stop.
Sometimes we need to hear our names in order to recognize the one calling us or whom we are talking to. It can totally change our disposition and become responsive to Jesus’ imperatives.
Gospel • JOHN 20:11-18
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.