Easter Sunday 2011

The next Sunday we will have, in addition to Mercy Sunday, the great joy of the beatification of John Paul II. This Easter morning I want to share with you one of the most beautiful and beloved texts of John Paul II. In this text he speaks of the Mother of God, Mary, who, after Christ, is the main protagonist of this morning.

«The Gospels mention various appearances of the risen Christ, but not a meeting between Jesus and his Mother. This silence must not lead to the conclusion that after the Resurrection Christ did not appear to Mary. How could the Blessed Virgin, present in the first community of disciples[1], be excluded from those who met her divine Son after he had risen from the dead?[2]

Indeed, it is legitimate to think that the Mother was probably the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Could not Mary’s absence from the group of women who went to the tomb at dawn[3] indicate that she had already met Jesus?

»Indeed, the Risen One entrusts to one of them, Mary Magdalene, the message to be passed on to the Apostles[4]. Perhaps this fact too allows us to think that Jesus showed himself first to his Mother, who had been the most faithful and had kept her faith intact when put to the test.

»Lastly, the unique and special character of the Blessed Virgin’s presence at Calvary and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross seem to postulate a very particular sharing on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection.

»A fifth-century author, Sedulius, maintains that in the splendour of his risen life Christ first showed himself to his mother. In fact, she, who at the Annunciation was the way he entered the world, was called to spread the marvelous news of the Resurrection in order to become the herald of his glorious coming. Thus bathed in the glory of the Risen One, she anticipates the Church’s splendor[5].

»It seems reasonable to think that Mary, as the image and model of the Church which waits for the Risen One and meets him in the group of disciples during his Easter appearances, had had a personal contact with her risen Son, so that she too could delight in the fullness of paschal joy.

»Present at Calvary on Good Friday[6] and in the Upper Room on Pentecost[7], the Blessed Virgin too was probably a privileged witness of Christ’s Resurrection, completing in this way her participation in all the essential moments of the paschal mystery. Welcoming the risen Jesus, Mary is also a sign and an anticipation of humanity, which hopes to achieve its fulfillment through the resurrection of the dead».

So, my brother and sisters, in this Easter Morning the Church invites us to addresses the Mother of the Lord Regina Caeli, laetare. Alleluia!. Queen of heaven, rejoice. Alleluia!. Thus it recalls Mary's joy at Jesus' Resurrection, prolonging in time the “rejoice” that the Angel addressed to her at the Annunciation, so that she might become a cause of “great joy” for all people.

Today we must give thanks to God for the gift of the presence and company and love of the Mother of God, but first and foremost for the great joy of the Resurrection. There is NO big reason to be cheerful. Thanks to God that we can celebrate the liturgy in our parish, Thanks to God we are alive, Thanks to God we tell each other that Jesus Christ was resurrected once and forever and He is the foundation of our faith.

Happy Easter to each one of you ■

[1] cf. Acts 1:14
[2] POPE JOHN PAUL II, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Wednesday, 21 May 1997
[3] cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1
[4] cf. Jn 20:17-18
[5] cf. Sedulius, Paschale carmen, 5, 357-364, CSEL 10, 140f
[6] cf. Jn 19:25
[7] cf. Acts 1:14

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris