Grace: to be glad and rejoice intensely because of the great joy and the glory of Christ our Lord.
Reflection: Today we begin celebrating the Resurrection of Christ Our Lord. In fact, liturgically the Church considers the entire week that follows, called the Octave of Easter, to be one prolonged Sunday. We ought to ask the Lord that our rejoicing in Him today be deep and full. His victory is final and utterly complete.
St. Ignatius had the sense that the first person to share in the joys of the Resurrection would be the one who had most loved, trusted, and served God in her earthly life – Mary. So St. Ignatius encourages us in the Spiritual Exercises to consider Jesus meeting His Mother on the Resurrection morning.
She had loved her Son to the bitter end – enduring His separation from her while teaching and preaching, His painful walk along the Way of the Cross, and ultimately His Crucifixion and death. She never left Her Son’s side. Could one have given any more than Mary? And even as she lost Her Son, He gave her as Mother to all humanity from the Cross. Her love, trust, and work is ceaseless.
Moreover, Mary is Jesus’ Mother. She, human like us, loved Jesus in the home at Nazareth perfectly. She searched for Him the day He remained in the temple when Mary and Joseph left in the caravan. She lived with Him until He was about thirty years old and began His public ministry. Could we begin to imagine the joy shared between these two who loved one another so trustingly and completely?
Considering well then the amount of love, labor, and persevering trust that Mary showed, as well as the deep affection that abides between Mother and Son, let us sit with the scene of Jesus meeting Mary in His resurrected glory. Let us imagine their faces, their words, their feelings. With them this Easter, let our joy be complete.
Questions: Taking Mary as an example, at moments when the cost is greatest and the need for generosity and trust the most, can I continue to be faithful?
How can I come to trust more deeply that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, completely victorious over sin and death, and that He will lead, console, and save me?
Speaking to Jesus as a friend, what joy do I want to share with Jesus upon His Resurrection?