Jesus Appears to Mary, His Mother

risen JesusThe 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.

Ignatius 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!


  1. It has also been written in scriptures that Christ appeared during his 40 days of resurrection – that he appeared to many others which are not recorded in writing. So it is entirely possible that he appeared to his Blessed Mother. It is wise to ponder that while the Bible (New and Old Testaments) do not relate every action performed by God the Father and Jesus on earth, that which has been recorded and revealed through the power of the Holy Ghost is more than enough for us in our daily lives and times of distress. All will be revealed in heaven and at the Great Resurrection- that should be sufficient enough for any Christian.

  2. 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!

    • 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!

      • 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.

  3. “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!

    • 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?


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