During the Easter season, these articles have focused on how the Gospels present the joyous times when Jesus, risen from the dead, met with His disciples. But there is one glorious meeting that the Gospels do not describe, that of Jesus with His mother Mary. There are two main explanations.
First, as St. John Paul II and St. Ignatius of Loyola believed, Jesus may have met His mother first, before even coming to Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb. The evangelists may not have written about this wondrous event because it was too glorious and mystical for human language. It is also possible that the risen Jesus did not meet Mary because, being the wisest of all people, she already knew that He would rise from the dead and did not need to see Him.
This explanation would present Mary as the model of all of us whom Jesus spoke of when He said to St. Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” John 10:29.
In either case, whether by the faith that understood Jesus’ words when others did not or by the first sight of the risen Christ, Mary was the first to recognize that Jesus had risen from the dead. Her total openness to the will of God, her complete purity of heart, and her unequivocal charity for others, made her most fit to bring Jesus into the world in the Incarnation and the most fit to be the first disciple after the Resurrection. But Mary is not jealous of her status; she delights in sharing the gifts she has received. And in fact, in the Eucharist, we do receive Jesus Christ into ourselves as Mary did in the Incarnation. It is a glorious gift that four of our fellow parishioners are receiving for the first time this Sunday. At Mass, we meet Jesus risen from the dead and are sent forth to share the presence of Christ with others as Mary did of old, and as the early Christians did, starting at Pentecost. When we are pure and open to God’s will, we are filled with the joyous sense of the Resurrection even now, and anticipate one day joining Mary in eternal glory.
For, as Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” Matt. 5:8.