Mary and the Resurrection

[The following is an excerpt from Adrienne von Speyr’s Handmaid of the Lord.  Christ is risen!]

“On Easter morning [Mary] is again, she once was at the angel’s apparition, sheer open expectation.  She does not anticipate any particular apparition.  But her faith is so open that anything can appear within its space.  And there he stands before her, her Son in the glory of God, and he fills this space with a fullness which surpasses all human senses.  He not only fills the emptiness at hand; he fills it to overflowing, in the way the Godhead brims over man’s every expectation.  Her first Yes to the angel, her first joy at the conception, her first jubilation in the Magnificat, are like a tiny human beginning compared with this storm of the Easter assent and this fire of the new Magnificat.  The first Yes to the angel was full of responsibility for the future.  It was spoken wholly in joy, but with the background of the coming suffering as the price she was to pay for this joy in her conception.  But the joy of the new assent is so great, it so outshines all else, that it can survey as if from a mountain peak all past sufferings and separations and those which are perhaps to come.  The Mother’s earthly mission is not yet at an end; she will have to persevere in the midst of the Apostles and the evolving Church.  But this delay does not even come under consideration in the face of the perfection of the mutual fulfillment of Mother and Son in the joy of Easter…

“She is well aware of the finality of all things God does.  Nothing can separate her from the Son any longer; nothing can delay the working of the Son in her.  She has a certainty which we will never know in that way: she knows not only that the Lord will never disappoint her but, just as surely, that she will never disappoint the Lord.  When God lets us share in the glory of his grace and his promise, the anxious undertone is always sounding here below that we are bunglers and will perhaps betray him again.  In and of ourselves we would be capable of destroying even the most beautiful reality again, capable of being unfaithful even to the strongest assent.  In faith we can vouch for the Lord, but not for ourselves.  The Mother is beyond this concern.  From the very beginning she is so much born of grace and has lived in it so completely that everything which is hers—her assent itself—is carried and taken over by grace.  She sees this now on Easter with all-eclipsing evidence.  She is surrounded on all sides and illuminated to her innermost being by the light of her Son’s grace.  The past suffering left no trace of a shadow in her; on the contrary, she understands now how necessary everything difficult was, to expand her and give her the power of comprehension for so great a joy…

“It is as if she were given a second Christmas.  On Christmas she had received the Son; the long promise of Advent had found its earthly fulfillment.  But the little Child of Christmas was himself a promise, a bud of the coming redemption.  Now, on Easter, this bud has blossomed and become full actuality.  Today Mary is Mother of the Redeemer.  The end-point that has been reached is now the starting-point for all of Christianity; today she has become Mother in reality, and everything previous was only a preparation for this day.  She sees before her the completed work of the Son, and she herself stands at its source.  In the Spirit and through the Spirit she is the Mother.  And at the Cross the Son made her share expressly in the birth of this work.  Everything that at Christmas had been an earthly, corporeal reality has today become a spiritual reality and is therefore open and limitless and omnipresent: it is a ‘Eucharist.’

“But the Mother is included in the Son’s eucharistic form of existence.  Her unity with the Son became so great at Easter that from now on the two can no longer be separated.  Where the Son is essentially and truly present, the Mother cannot be missing.  If it is really the flesh of the Lord that the Christian receives at the altar, then it is also the flesh which took form within the Mother and at whose disposal she place everything that was hers.  Because she said Yes to his Incarnation, she also says Yes to each new advent of the Lord into the world that occurs at the Consecration of every Holy Mass.”

About Father Joseph

I am a priest and monk currently serving with the Contemplatives of St Joseph in South San Francisco, CA. I am in my 33rd year of monastic life and in my 24th as a priest.

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