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After the Resurrection

Sacred Scripture does not record Our Lord's Resurrection in detail, merely the fact that St Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty and He then appeared to her. But what of His Mother, who would have mourned His death more than the others? Why do we not see her there with the women? Why does St Mary Magdalene not also run to her to tell her the wonderful news? The Holy Father has recently taught in one of his Wednesday General Audiences that it is wholly reasonable to believe that Our Lord appeared first to the Blessed Virgin, even though Scripture does not record this intimate moment between the Redeemer and His Beloved Mother. This is the official Vatican news release on the Holy Father's catechesis:

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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