It is generally believed that St. Mary Magdalen is the first person to see Jesus resurrected. Yet, I remember very well my pastor Monsignor James McDonald telling me that the first person who saw Jesus risen is the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is not doctrine but more of pious devotion. Msgr. McDonald as a child said this to a nun in his school and he almost got in trouble for it.
I would also contend that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary who first saw Jesus resurrected. After all, the Blessed Mother gave birth to Him and was with Him at His death. It would only be fitting that she would be the first person to see Him risen.
On the other hand, if it was St. Mary Magdalen who first saw Him, I am sure the Blessed Mother saw Him soon after. St. Mary Magdalen’s heart was seeking the Heart of Jesus. The fact that she came to His tomb signified that she had hope in the resurrection.
The awesome part of Easter is that we share with our Lady, St. Mary Magdalen, and the apostles in seeing Christ risen. In fact, the Eucharist is Jesus Christ both crucified and risen. Crucified because we are entering into the one supreme sacrifice of the Son, and risen because we are with Jesus in His glorious resurrection. We too give testimony that we have seen Jesus risen by our faith and experience in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Perhaps during this season of Easter let us examine how often we make time to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Even though we as Catholics are dispensed from obligation of attending Sunday Mass due to the pandemic, we are not dispensed from praying. Let us consider how much time we are setting aside to be with Christ.
The doors of the Church that lead us to encounter Christ both crucified and risen are open. Let us seek Him in the Mass, and especially in our time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. The Lord has truly been raised!
Here is the Regina Caeli prayer that I would like to share with you
Queen of Heaven (Regina Caeli)
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Jeff Yildirmaz