The Blessed Virgin Mary and the
Resurrection of Jesus
1. The Glorious Sepulchre
Through sin death was
ushered into the world. All men must die because all men are sinners. Only Jesus and Mary
are exempt from this law. And yet God demanded of them to pass through the humiliation of
death. But they should not remain in the sepulchre, nor could a flesh so clean from every
stain undergo corruption and decay.
Christ died, He was not conquered by death. On the contrary, death was changed into an
ushering into life, eternal life, that all who die in Christ should never really die, but
just be taken to the life of immortality. It is on account of this that Jesus, the
Vanquisher of death, was bound to shine forth in the glorious Resurrection of His Body.
He, Who had so often foretold His Death, and so often predicted His Resurrection, had,
through His mastery over death and life (which is proper and exclusive of God alone),
proven His Divinity and the absolute veracity of His preaching.
All mere human grandeur
ends in the sepulchre. The power of man, however great, will disappear one day under a
tomb-stone bearing the inscription: "Here lies..." But there was one glorious
Sepulchre which after Jesus' triumph over death bore another inscription: "Surrexit,
non est hic. He has risen. He is not here." How great, then, is the glory of
Christ in His Resurrection. His triumph is unparalleled and unprecedented. He alone could
have achieved it.
But this glory of Jesus
is also Mary's glory. Nothing that refers to Him is foreign to His Mother. She had been
associated with Him on Calvary. The pains of Jesus had been suffered by the Mother. It was
only just, then, that His triumphs and joys should be Hers, and not only Hers, but ours
also. How should the triumph of the Resurrection of Jesus console us! Vain would our Faith
be had He not risen. His enemies would have definitely reported a victory over Him, over
His life and His work. But Christ's Resurrection gives us the most solid argument of our
Faith, the most solid ground for our hope.
We too must die, but
also we must rise. Will ours be a holy death? Will our sepulchre be glorious? Will our
resurrection be triumphant? Only you can answer these questions. The outcome depends on
you. Ask Jesus and Mary that it may be so. Tell them you expect it so through their
merits. Protest to them that you want to associate yourself with their suffering, so that
one day you may partake of their triumphs.
2. Jesus Appears to His Mother
This is not an article
of faith, nor is it recorded in the Gospel; nevertheless it is certain. Both nature and
grace demand this meeting of Mother and Son. Can we doubt that Our Blessed Lady, with a
lively and unshakable faith was expecting this meeting? While the Apostles hesitated about
the truth of the Resurrection, Mary felt an infallible certainty that the words of Her Son
would be fulfilled. She never went to the sepulchre, for She knew that Jesus was not
there. Think now of the holy impatience which, especially at the beginning of the third
day, would overtake the heart of Mary. Minutes would seem an eternity. Her Mother's heart
felt that Her Son was about to come, and a mother's heart is not easily mistaken in what
appertains to her son. Remember how the mother of Tobias would go daily to the road and
scan the horizon, awaiting the return of her son. If we knew what is a mother's heart, and
especially the heart of that Mother, then only could we fathom Her longing and impatience
to see Her risen Son. It is a pleasant thought to imagine that Her ardent desires and
fervent prayers anticipated the hour of the Resurrection, just as She had done in the case
of the Incarnation and at the wedding at Cana, when She put the clock forward and induced
Jesus to manifest Himself to the world by a miracle before the appointed time.
The happy moment
arrives. Visualize Our Lady still sunk in deep sorrow, still in Her solitude, Her eyes red
and swollen from so much weeping, and with no more tears to shed. Then of a sudden there
is a flash of Divine light. A glorious body brighter than light, clad in garments whiter
than snow appears, and then comes the sound of a sweetest familiar Voice which calls Her
"Mother!" How can language express the meeting of Son and Mother in such a
moment? Let your own heart lose itself in this ocean of happiness and of genuine glory.
Suffering for Him leads to endless enjoyment of Him, whilst the joys and satisfactions of
this life are but false and unsatisfying.
Here also the rule of
love and suffering should be applied, namely: so much love, so much suffering. Equally
also, as the suffering is great, so afterwards will be the joy. How great would then be
the joy of Our Heavenly Mother since such was Her love for Her Divine Son. If such was Her
suffering at His death, how great would Her joy be on seeing Him now glorious, triumphant,
risen, never more to die. Again She would go through every Wound of His glorified Body,
adoring them shining so splendidly. Let us also, together with Mary, go over His every
wound, and stop at the wounded Side, in that Heart which is a furnace, a volcano of love.
Enter there, set yourself on fire, be consumed in a holy love for God.
3. Effects of that Apparition
- Her joy was so great and so
intense that only by a miracle could Our Lady stand it and yet live. Her joy was a
spiritual and Divine joy, similar to that of Heaven, which filled Her soul without ever
- As a reward for Her fidelity and
generosity in sacrifice, God granted Her more intimate and profound compenetration with
Her Divine Son. The compenetration was such that it reached the maximum which Divinity
could attain when giving itself to a creature.
- She gained a clear knowledge, a
more sublime contemplation of the Divine work of Redemption and of the greatness of Her
Son. Doubtless, Jesus then revealed to Her His most sublime secrets, His plans and
projects, His Ascension into Heaven that was to take place in a forty days, the foundation
of His Church and the share that She would take in it. And finally, the great secrets of
Heaven; the many souls who were about to enter.
Let us also rejoice at
Christ's glorious triumph and at the joy of our Heavenly Mother. Repeat often the
greetings of the Church: "Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia, -- Rejoice, O Queen
of Heaven." Ask for a share in Her joy, if not now, some day in Heaven; and do not
forget that according to St. Paul we must derive from the Resurrection of Our Lord a real
aversion for the things of the earth which neither can nor should fill our hearts; that we
must look for the things above; that by living now detached from this life, we must long
for the eternal life of Heaven; that the spirit of faith should render all our actions
supernatural and thus confer on them a value which they cannot have of themselves; for
only in this way they will become our crown in Heaven.
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