Friday, April 22, 2011

The Resurrection, Our Blessed Mother and Mary Magdalen

Where does Mary, the Mother of Jesus fit into the Mystery of the Resurrection? Sacred Scripture does not record Our Lord's Resurrection in detail. The fact is mentioned that Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty. Mary Magdalen was the first character in the Resurrection drama. She stirred the other women to visit the sepulcher; she first discovered the tomb empty, and in her distress Jesus appeared to her to comfort her. She did not recognize Him until He said her name, then He entrusted her with a mission. “Go to my brethren and say to them I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:18)  Mary Magdalen is recognized for her profound devoted love of Our Lord. Many sins were forgiven her because she loved much. Indeed, she had chosen the better part!
So why did not Mary Magdalene also run to tell Mary, the Mother of Jesus the wonderful news? Pope John Paul II in a Wednesday General Audience taught that it is wholly reasonable to believe Our Lord appeared first to the Blessed Virgin Mary, even though Scripture does not record this intimate moment between them. This is the official Vatican news release May 21, 1997, on Mary and the Resurrection:
VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 1997 (VIS) - The Holy Father focused the catechesis of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square on "Mary and the Resurrection of Christ," and recalled that "the Gospels narrate different apparitions of the Risen One, but not the meeting between Jesus and his Mother."

"From this silence," he continued, "one must not deduce that Christ, after his Resurrection, did not appear to Mary." This omission might be attributed to the fact that "what is necessary for our saving knowledge is entrusted to the word of those 'who were chosen by God as witnesses,' that is, the Apostles," he said, citing the Acts of the Apostles.

John Paul II asked how the Blessed Virgin, who was "present in the first community of the disciples, could have been excluded from the number of those who encountered her divine Son risen from among the dead. On the contrary, it is legitimate to think that the Mother may really have been the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Could not the absence of Mary from the group of women who approached the tomb at dawn constitute an indication that she had already met Jesus?"

"The unique and special nature of the presence of the Virgin at Calvary," added the Pope, "and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross, seem to postulate a very particular participation on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection."

The Blessed Virgin, who was present at Calvary and at the Cenacle, "was probably also a privileged witness to the Resurrection of Christ, in this way completing her participation in all the essential moments of the paschal mystery. Embracing the risen Jesus, Mary is, in addition, a sign and anticipation of humanity, which hopes to reach its fulfillment in the resurrection of the dead."

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