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  • Sarah Raad

Brother

“It is true you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; and He from the Cross has given you to be Our Mother – thus we are richer than you are.” (Saint Therese of Lisieux).

The Risen Christ Appears to His Mother (Daniele Monteleone)

I have been reflecting upon our Blessed Mother. In the Gospel of Saint Matthew we are told that Mary Magdalene – and some of the other women who were coming with her to anoint Christ’s body to prepare it for burial – were the first to see the Risen Lord…


“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.’” (Matthew 28:1-10).


In the Gospel of Saint John we are told of how these holy women spread the news of Christ’s Resurrection…


“So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!’ So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first…” (John 20:2-4).


After three sorrowful days of inactivity – of hiding out after having run away from their Beloved Lord and Master – the disciples were suddenly running around everywhere that day... Suddenly the heavy burden of their grief was lifted because their “BROTHER” had risen from the Dead… “‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell MY BROTHERS to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.’” (Matthew 28:10, emphasis added).


I can imagine that hope and that wonder of the disciples. I can imagine their beating hearts full of joy. And I can imagine – in my own miserable and limited way – the infinite CONDESCENSION of God, who not only calls Himself our Father, but elevates us even higher, calling us His “brothers” – in some mysterious way, equating us with DIVINITY…


Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote of the Blessed Virgin, “It is true you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; and He from the Cross has given you to be Our Mother – thus we are richer than you are.”


And Saint Therese is correct. For there is nothing richer – there could never be anything richer – than a share in the FAMILY of God… And we achieve that RICHNESS through the consent of the Blessed Virgin!

You see, though Sacred Scripture tells us that it was to Mary Magdalene and the other women that Christ first appeared following His Resurrection. Sacred Tradition indicates that the Blessed Virgin was in fact the FIRST person to whom the Risen Christ appeared. And that makes sense to me…

After all, the Blessed Virgin was the FIRST person who knew that God the Son was Incarnate. She was the FIRST disciple of His ministry on Earth, following Him from the Moment of His Conception until the moment of her Ascension into Heaven. And the Blessed Virgin is the FIRST member of God’s family – She is His Mother, and through HER ALL OTHERS can join the Family of God. So, it makes sense that in their FIRST private reunion, the Blessed Virgin was the FIRST human soul to worship God the Son – Risen Lord of the Universe!


And knowing that today, I heed the words of the Immaculate Virgin Mary – Our Lady of Guadeloupe – to Juan Diego during the fourth apparition on 12th December 1531…


“Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”


And with those words in my heart and soul, I think of the Disciples, who suddenly had such hope on the day of the Resurrection for they had been close to the Blessed Virgin and with Her is the Risen Lord! For Our Heavenly Mother is my Mother, and I am under Her protection and within Her fold. And knowing that, I understand that I am richer than She – for with Her as my Mother, what could I possibly have to fear? After all, it was the Blessed Virgin who allowed me to become a BROTHER of God…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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