Grace: To be glad and rejoice intensely because of the great joy and the glory of Christ our Lord
Reflection: We enter the Resurrection through the eyes of Mary. Is it not fitting that the woman who has trusted more than any other person should be the first one consoled? For more than thirty years, Mary has loved and trusted through the bewildering events of her son’s life. In a sense, Mary’s Calvary began from the first moments of the pregnancy which opened her to the scorn and ridicule of her neighbors. She has “kept all these things in her heart,” meditating upon the bizarre working of God, who blesses her with a glorious Son, yet progressively takes that Son away from her. Simeon had told her that a sword would pierce her heart, and did she not feel that sting running into Egyptian exile? Did she not feel it as Jesus told the crowds that the one who does the will of the Father was His real mother? Did she not feel abandoned as Jesus died upon the cross leaving her a defenseless widow without a single living child? Yes, trust in God is good, even commendable, but at some point, doesn’t a person have to admit that enough is enough? What more does God want, and if He does want more, why should she give it? He has taken away her only Son.
St. Ignatius thinks that surely it must have been Mary who was the first consoled on Easter morning. Jesus has come through the sting of death and the cold recesses of Hell. And because He was willing to humble Himself to such depths (remember here the Two Standards) the Father is now exalting Him above all others. Notice, though, that Jesus does not want to ascend the heights alone. No, He has come to bring us with Him. He will share His glory as long as we are willing to share in His trust. Mary was the one who shared in that hopeful trust in the most perfect way, so now it is Mary who first shares in His joy.
In meditating upon the Resurrection, continue in the same method that has led you through the second and third weeks. See the places and people. Listen to their conversation and watch their actions. Reflect upon what is said and draw some fruit for your life. In the present meditation, consider the fact that Jesus’ divinity is showing forth in order to console the mother who has suffered in trust through so many trials. Learn from Mary how to trust so that you also might share in her joy.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, Pray for Us!