Jesus Appears to Mary, His Mother

by Becky Eldredge

The first contemplation in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises involves Jesus appearing to his mother. Can you imagine being Mary, sitting in her house, overcome with grief and despair at losing her son? Can you imagine Mary, fully immersed in a “Holy Saturday” moment, pondering what happened, absorbed in her grief? Grief that we can relate to because of loss in our own lives.

Resurrected ChristIgnatius invites us to contemplate the interaction between Mary and her beloved son, who she watched die on the cross. What would the dialogue sound like?

“Woman, why are you crying?”

“I thought I had lost you.”

“I am here. I am here. I am risen, Mom. I am risen.”

“You are here, Son.”

Being a mom, I cannot even imagine the depth of joy Mary felt at seeing her son again. I have no doubt that her heart burst with joy and that she was radiant with love and hope. Can you imagine the depth of her consolation in that moment?

But what does Mary’s experience have to do with our lives? EVERYTHING!

In this Easter season we celebrate Mary’s joy that her son is here. We celebrate that Jesus is alive in each of us, in our world, creating us moment by moment. We celebrate that we can experience the joy Mary felt at seeing her son because Jesus lives within us. Easter reminds us of the reason to hope in the first place—because of the Resurrection of Mary’s son!

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Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Dallas, Texas. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady and Abby.

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April 9, 2012

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Damewood April 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

Beautiful reflection, Becky. Thanks!

Reply

Becky Eldredge April 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks, Sara!

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Lynda April 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

“We celebrate that Jesus is alive in each of us, in our world, creating us moment by moment.” How amazing that Jesus is still creating us and all things are possible because of that. Thank you for this message of incredible hope!

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Becky Eldredge April 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Lynda,

Margaret Silf’s writings really helped me embrace and understand the idea that we are being created moment by moment. You are right, it is hopeful that Jesus is invested in us moment by moment! That brings an incredible sense of peace, doesn’t it?

Peace,

Becky

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Robin April 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Since my own son’s death, this has become one of the most consoling prayers in the Exercises.

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Becky Eldredge April 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Robin,

I am very sorry to hear about your son’s death. Know I will keep him and you in my prayers. Has it been recent?

I pray that this prayer continues to provide comfort and deep peace for you.

Peace,

Becky

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Robin April 10, 2012 at 4:28 am

Thank you for the prayers, Becky. 3.5 years. I wrote a reflection on this contemplation over at my place.

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Linda G April 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

The priest said in a homily one time to think of the ascension not as a rising up but as a [progression to the next level of being], which indeed clarifies (at least to our human capacity to comprehend) how Jesus can be in heaven and yet right here in each of us and among us, and how we can have a communion of saints who progressed before us.

That comment slid a lot of things into place!

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Becky Eldredge April 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Linda,

That makes a lot of sense. Your words are a gentle reminder to me also that our journey always continues, that the end is not something we can achieve overnight. We are called to continue to build a relationship with Christ and move to “the next level of being” with him and with ourselves. Thanks for this!

Peace,

becky

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Linda G April 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Thank you, Becky. The priest indicated that Christ and also our loved ones are right here right now with us and among us (not up there in outer space somewhere) beyond our comprehension except of course in certain moments as many of us have experienced. It took me many decades before I finally learned that our soul does not stay in the box till the end of the world. No soul ever touched that box actually. Yet the two biblical figures (I can’t recall who they were now of course) who appeared with Jesus on the cloud at the Transfiguration actually lived a few hundred years apart. It took that homily to remind me of that.

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