Tuesday of Easter Week
(Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18)
When I am with children whose names I do not know, I will call them “son” or “sweetheart.” On a couple occasions boys have responded, “I’m not your son. Why do you call me that?” I am not sure whether they are confused, defiant, or just playing with me. In any case Jesus in today’s gospel is ready to make his disciples sons of his Father.
Jesus meets Mary at the tomb. He may want to console her, but he definitely will give her a mission. But first he tells her not to cling to him because he is about to ascend to heaven. There his humanity will be glorified so that he might impart the Holy Spirit on whomever he pleases. The Spirit makes those who receive it daughters and sons of the Father. As Jesus indicates in the passage, his disciples then become his brothers and sisters. Mary is to let the other disciples know of this wondrous eventuality.
Do all humans have God as their “Father”? Certainly John the Evangelist does not think so. For him that distinction is reserved for those who have been “born from above” (John 3:3). For this reason we should hold a special affection for other Christians, especially those who partake of the same Eucharist. Nevertheless, we are to love everyone. John also says that “God so loved the world…” Because we are God’s daughters and sons, we must love the world’s inhabitants as well.