Waking Up to the Risen Jesus

risen Jesus

This story is inspired by the first contemplation in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises, the apparition of Christ to Mary (#218).

Do you know that semiconscious state as you begin to awaken, when it’s possible to believe you’re still dreaming? That’s how I awoke the morning of my son’s Resurrection.

I felt my Jeshua gently stroking my hair. I smiled and looked into his sweet face. Such a loving son! He was sitting on the side of my bed, leaning over and smiling. My darling Jeshua looked more radiant than I’d ever seen him.

“Good morning, Mother. I love you. How are you this Resurrection Day?” he said.

Resurrection? What was he talking about?

The sweet aroma of myrrh mysteriously pervaded the room, and I began to realize I wasn’t dreaming. My Jeshua was in the room, waiting for me to awaken.

My mind raced. He died three days before! I’d held his body, feeling confusion and heart-rending loss. But even then, I knew there had to be more to God-with-us. The crucifixion couldn’t be the end.

As my mind cleared, I sat up and rubbed my eyes as the sparkling, laughing eyes of my Jeshua came into focus. “My son! Alive again!”

We hugged each other and gently rocked. I kept repeating, “My son! You’re alive again!” My heart was in my throat. Tears flowed.

He chuckled as he whispered into my unpinned hair, “Yes, Mother, I am alive.”

I don’t know how long I held him, his cheek against mine. Eventually, I let go.

Had he appeared to me while I was fully conscious, it probably would have scared me. To awaken to his gentle kiss was natural and loving. It felt right.

“Mother, let me give you some breakfast,” he said, reaching for a tray on the bedside table.

In a state of awe yet deeply at peace, I allowed my son and savior to feed me. I thought of our Last Supper together, with so many present, and his words that we would eat again in the Reign of God.

“Mother, you’ll have much to do now. Many will come to you, seeking me. You’ll know what to say,” Jeshua said. “Help our family now to be their best selves. Show the intimate love you and I have for each other. Your work isn’t finished. Encourage our flock, and always show them my love.”

I had much to ponder as this visit came to a close.

He told me he couldn’t stay, but that his Spirit would always live in me. He asked me to wait until his friend John came for me. John would need some time; they all would. He asked me to be patient and listen to their doubts and fears.

“Hold them as you held me so many times.”

I remembered the tears over a broken arm, his heartbreak over a teenage crush on a girl who didn’t care, and flashes of many other memories.

“I meant what I said from the cross. I need you to be the mother of all now.”

As I nodded, he kissed my forehead, said goodbye, and disappeared.

I felt a soft cramping in my womb as my heart filled with joy. My son! My son! Alive again!

I settled back on my pillow to ponder this glorious day, now fully awake and full of joy.

Imagine waking up to the risen Jesus. To what mission does he invite you?

About Loretta Pehanich 45 Articles
Loretta Pehanich is a spiritual director and author of Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. She is involved with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento and its program in giving the Spiritual Exercises. She has more than 20 years of experience in ministry, including retreat work and small group leadership. Loretta currently works as a consultant and Catholic writer for a number of national media. She and her husband have four children and nine grandchildren.

17 Comments on Waking Up to the Risen Jesus

  1. Oh my heart, as I read it, the tender intimacy of a scene I always felt had secretly taken place but not officially recorded. Beautiful on the level of mother & child & as protective intercessor for the fledgling church. Keep more meditations open for your readersThank you , Ethelyn nyc

  2. Of course Jesus may have had a broken arm when growing up, and felt a very human teenage affection for a young girl—Jesus was fully human and fully divine—He was not an emotional “nerd”.
    Thank you for your Jesus/Mary scene.

  3. It makes sense to me that Jesus would have appeared to His mother, Mary, before anyone else. This is a wonderful little story. Melody Carlson wrote a book about Mary, with a similar story line at the end, to reflect Jesus’ love and close connection to His mother.

  4. Nice reflection. But memories of Jesus- heart crushed on a girl., broken arm. Disrespectful … I hardly doubt He would have gone in that direction. His mission was always clear to Him (being in the temple while His folks looked for Him). He could count His bones, not a bone was broken … As per scripture.
    I suggest not to try to disparage Jesus by putting Him in your limited package of humanity. He was without sin, as was Mary. Article was great until that point.

  5. Happy Easter Loretta, He is risen, He is risen.
    Thank you for such a rich, oh so tender and lovingly intimate story. Only this mother and this son could have had it.

  6. Nice reflection, Loretta. I have often thought that Jesus loved Mary so much that He wouldn’t have let her mourn His death too long without showing Himself to her before anyone else. My opinion is also that Mary understood better than the Apostles that her Son was going to suffer and die, and I would like to think that He would behave in the most tender–and in this case triumphant–way by not letting her suffer any longer. Simeon’s prophecy of the sword piercing her heart now has the ultimate reversal: the complete joy of Jesus risen and alive!

  7. Your post is beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes, especially the line, “Encourage our flock, and always show them my love.” My church is going through a change in leadership right now that is very difficult for the congregation. Your post reminds me that, no matter what, Jesus is with us and we have His work to do. Thank you for sharing this rich and positive imagery.

  8. Beautiful and thought-provoking! This reflection took me back to my experience during the 19th Annotation. Thank you very much!

  9. I love your reflection. Midrash is such a wonderful example of the continuity of the Bible, and our belief in the ongoing miracle of God’s love.

  10. Not an image that would have occurred to me, but wow what a scene. Such a great blessing this mother of the Lord has been for us; of course he commissioned her. Thanks for a lovely start to my day. Amen.

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