When evening fell on the Sabbath, Mary Magdalen and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices that, going, they might anoint the dead body of Jesus. —Very early on the following day, when the sun has already risen, they come to the sepulchre (Mark 16:1-2). And upon entering they are dismayed, for they do not find the body of Our Lord. —A youth, clothed in white, says to them: Fear not. I know that you seek Jesus of Nazareth: non est hic, surrexit enim sicut dixit, —He is not here, for He has risen, as He said (Matt 28:5).
He has risen! —Jesus has risen. He is not in the sepulchre. —Life has overcome death.
He appeared to His most Holy Mother. —He appeared to Mary of Magdala, who is carried away with love. —And to Peter and the rest of the Apostles. —And to you and me, who are His disciples and more in love than Magdalen: the things we say to Him!
May we never die through sin; may our spiritual resurrection be eternal. —And before this decade is over, you have kissed the wounds on His feet…, and I, more daring —because I am more a child—, have placed my lips upon His open side.
Now the Master is teaching His disciples: He has enlightened their minds that they may know the Scriptures, and He takes them as witnesses of His life and His miracles, of His passion and death, and of the glory of His resurrection (Luke 24:45 and 48).
Then, He leads them out along the road to Bethany, He lifts up His hands and blesses them. —And, as He does so, He slowly departs from them and ascends to heaven (Luke 24:51) until a cloud receives Him out of their sight (Acts 1:9).
Jesus has gone to the Father. —Two Angels in white garments approach us and say: Men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? (Acts 1:11)
Peter and the others go back to Jerusalem —cum gaudio magno— with great joy (Luke 24:52). —It is fitting that the Sacred Humanity of Christ should receive the homage, the praise and adoration of all the hierarchies of the Angels and of all the legions of the blessed in Heaven.
But, you and I feel like orphans: we are sad, and we go to Mary for consolation.
Our Lord had said: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, another Consoler, to abide with you forever (John 14:16). When the disciples were gathered together in one place, suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were. —At the same time, parted tongues of fire appeared and rested upon each one of them (Acts 2:1-2).
Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Apostles seemed as though drunk (Acts 2:13).
And Peter, around whom the other eleven gathered, raised his voice and spoke. —We, people from a hundred nations, hear Him. —Each of us hears him in his own language. —You and I in ours. —He speaks to us of Christ Jesus and of the Holy Ghost and of the Father.
He is not stoned nor thrown in prison: of those who have heard him, three thousand are converted and baptized.
You and I, after helping the Apostles administer baptism, bless God the Father, for His Son Jesus, and we too feel drunk with the Holy Ghost.
Assumpta est Maria in coelum: gaudent angeli! —God has taken Mary —body and soul— to Heaven: and the Angels rejoice!
So sings the Church. —And so, with that same outburst of joy, do we begin our contemplation in this decade of the Holy Rosary:
The Mother of God has fallen asleep. —Around her bed are the twelve Apostles. —Matthias in the place of Judas.
And we, through a grace respected by all, are also at her side.
But Jesus wants to have His Mother, body and soul, in Heaven. —And the heavenly Court, arrayed in all its splendour, hails Our Lady. —You and I —children after all— take the train of Mary's magnificent blue cloak, and so we can watch the marvellous scene.
The most Blessed Trinity receives and showers honours on the Daughter, Mother, and Spouse of God… —And so great is Our Lady's majesty that the Angels exclaim: Who is she?
Thou art all fair and in thee there is no stain. —Thou art a garden enclosed, my sister, Spouse, an enclosed garden, a sealed fountain. —Veni: coronaberis. —Come: thou shalt be crowned (Cant 4:7, 12 and 8).
If you and I had had the power, we too would have made her Queen and Lady of all creation.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman with a crown of twelve stars upon her head. —Clothed with the sun. —The moon at her feet (Apoc 12:1). Mary, Virgin without stain, has repaired the fall of Eve: and she crushed the head of the infernal serpent with her immaculate heel. Daughter of God, Mother of God, Spouse of God.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost crown her as the rightful Empress of the Universe.
And the Angels render homage unto her as her subjects… and the patriarchs and the prophets and the Apostles… and the martyrs and the confessors and the virgins and all the saints… and all sinners and you and I.