Although the Sacred Scriptures never speak of the Blessed Virgin Mary interacting with Jesus Christ after his Crucifixion on Calvary, it is highly doubtful that He would have never appeared to her or speak to her again.
He does give her to Saint John on the Cross, “Women, behold your son”, who in turn represents all Christians and all of humanity, for she is now our maternal mediator. The Gospel does tell us that he, Saint John, took her into his home from that day forward, but do we really believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ would not have spoken to his own Mother again? Why did the gospel writers choose to not include any conversation between Jesus and Mary into their accounts?
These are the questions that the soon-to-be saint (less than six days now), Blessed Pope John Paul II asks in his Wednesday Audience from May 21, 1997. As we begin the Season of Easter, let us prayerfully contemplate the words of John Paul II –
“In the supposition of an “omission”, this silence could be attributed to the fact that what is necessary for our saving knowledge was entrusted to the word of those “chosen by God as witnesses” (Acts 10:41), that is, the Apostles, who gave their testimony of the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection “with great power” (cf. Acts 4:33). Before appearing to them, the Risen One had appeared to several faithful women because of their ecclesial function: “Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Mt 28:10).
If the authors of the New Testament do not speak of the Mother’s encounter with her risen Son, this can perhaps be attributed to the fact that such a witness would have been considered too biased by those who denied the Lord’s Resurrection, and therefore not worthy of belief.
Furthermore, the Gospels report a small number of appearances by the risen Jesus and certainly not a complete summary of all that happened during the 40 days after Easter. St Paul recalls that he appeared “to more than 500 brethren at one time” (1 Cor 15:6). How do we explain the fact that an exceptional event known to so many is not mentioned by the Evangelists? It is an obvious sign that other appearances of the Risen One were not recorded, although they were among the well-known events that occurred.
How could the Blessed Virgin, present in the first community of disciples (cf. Acts 1:14), be excluded from those who met her divine Son after he had risen from the dead?
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 (cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1) indicate that she had already met Jesus? This inference would also be confirmed by the fact that the first witnesses of the Resurrection, by Jesus’ will, were the women who had remained faithful at the foot of the Cross and therefore were more steadfast in faith.
Indeed, the Risen One entrusts to one of them, Mary Magdalene, the message to be passed on to the Apostles (cf. Jn 20:17-18). 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 marvellous 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 splendour cf. Sedulius, Paschale carmen, 5, 357-364, CSEL 10, 140f).
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 (cf. Jn 19:25) and in the Upper Room on Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14), 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 fulfilment through the resurrection of the dead.
In the Easter season, the Christian community addresses the Mother of the Lord and invites her to rejoice: “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.”
This is no way undermines the important role of Saint Mary Magdalene, who is told by our Lord to go and tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Pope John Paul II is just giving us another expression of the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
It would be from this moment on that She becomes our Advocate, our Queen Mother, and our maternal mediator. As Jesus resurrects and then forty days later ascends into Heaven, Mary’s role as the Mother of the Pilgrim Church would develop. To this very day and till the day when Our Lord Jesus Christ come again, Mary’s role is to lead souls closer to Jesus Christ as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces.
Holy Mother of All Humanity…Pray For Us.