The Risen Christ Appears to His Mother

In the comment section of the post for Day 25, Pia has done much research and left fascinating links regarding the way Catholics over the centuries have expressed their belief that Jesus appeared firstly to His Mother after His Resurrection.

In the space of a few short days, Pia has found this in the revelations of the mystics, the saints, in art and in contemplative reflections on the life of Christ and the Rosary.  I cannot help but think this is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, in terms of examples.

The image above is entitled “Resurrection of Christ and Apparition to His Mother”, by Roger van der Weyden (circa 1440). I am thrilled to see this work of art, for in it we see Jesus just stepping out of the sepulchre yet simultaneously appearing to His Mother in her room, just as we read in the revelations of Venerable Mary of Agreda, which I entered in the comment section of Day 25.

On the link that Pia left for us regarding this artwork, I was not able to save the image, but I am grateful to have also found it at this Pauline site, so that I could show it to you here. But what I am even more grateful for is that at that same site, we are guided to ponder a sentence from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, from #23:

Contemplating the Risen One, Christians rediscover the reasons for their own faith (cf. 1Cor 15:14) and relive the joy not only of those to whom Christ appeared – the Apostles, Mary Magdalene and the disciples on the road to Emmaus – but also the joy of Mary, who must have had an equally intense experience of the new life of her glorified Son.

So while I am excited and avid to learn more about the Blessed Virgin’s mystical encounter with Jesus after His Resurrection, as it has evolved through our Catholic tradition in so many diverse mediums, what is far more important is that Mary will help us to experience what she experienced. Just as Mary helps to birth Jesus in us each day, so too will she help us to experience the intense joy of knowing a new life in the risen Christ, every day. The more we open our hearts, the more Mary can help us approach the level of intensity she experienced; she will lead us to Jesus, her risen and glorified Son.

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3 Responses

  1. Mary’s mystical sharing in His rising, yes, this seems only right. In a scene of Gibson’s “Passion,” after wiping His blood from the scourging scene, Mary is suddenly uber-aware of a certain section of the floor of the Praetorium. She lays her head against it, and the camera pans down to her Son just below her head, Who knows His mother is right there. He does not call out to her, nor she to Him. There are no words possible, until they meet along the via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross). That meeting in the flesh is why I could think she did not visibly see Him first (in His glorified Body), because they both knew what He was doing, had to do. It all was done and offered in tandem for sinners, neither of which these Two were. Hence, our representative of repentent sinners was to behold His risenness and to benefit first, in the flesh, or, the sacrament of Holy Communion.

  2. Yes, I think the veil is lifting on our understanding of this now, and I’m very grateful for the discussions here which brought that to pass… That is a marvelous insight near the end of your comment, re Mary Magdalene as representative of repentent sinners benefiting from the “flesh”, or Holy Communion, for it is indeed the resurrected Christ we receive in Holy Communion.

  3. Why would it have to be a mystical encounter, almost as if their love was something disincarnate? I really think he appeared to her in the same way he appeared to Mary Magdelene and the Apostles and then to “500 people”. And I believe when he did, they hugged and held on to each other and laughed and cried at the same time. The only difference is that she didn’t have a minute’s hesitation in knowing who he was, because her eyes could see clearly, precisely because she knew what He had done and who He was. But I think each of us can meditate personally on this, without delving too much into that sphere of intimacy between this Mother and her Son. They loved each other and they are eternally united and invite us to do the same. That’s all that counts, isn’t it?

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