As I welcome the beginning of this Easter season, I contemplate and find joy in an old meditation held by many Saints. I came across this through the writings of Saint Ignatius.
It is before dawn of the third day. The soldiers presumably guard a tomb containing the body of Jesus. The disciples have fitful nights sleep. Their dreams try to make sense out of the past forty eight hours. Perhaps some are full of sorrow. They lay on their mats staring in the darkness void of feeling; empty inside. In the wee hours of the morning on that third day, just before the sun has crept above the horizon, Mary, the Mother of God, sits quietly in the darkness. Her body exhausted from the emotion and movement of the past day. Her heart full of sorrow. She has her hands placed gently in her lap, her soul enveloped in prayer. She “reflects on all those moments she treasured in her heart” (Luke 2:19; 3:51). She looks up through the window. The suns soft golden-red rays spill over the horizon. Before her stands her Son. He approaches her and they embrace. She begins to cry again, only this time they are tears of joy; tears of thanksgiving that the Lord “has remembered his promsise of mercy”. She is the first to be visited by the risen Christ, her son. She is the first to be filled with Easter joy that is salvation.
May that same joy and happiness fill our hearts today and every day.
“There is something which the evangelists tell us in a veiled way, but which I shall reveal to your charity. As was right and just, the Mother of God was the first person to receive from the Lord the Good News of the Resurrection, and she saw before anyone else. She not only beheld him with her eyes and heard him with her ears, but was the first and only person to touch with her hands his most pure feet.”
-St. Gregory Palamas (1359 A.D.)