When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalen and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices with which to go and anoint the dead body of Jesus. Very early on the following day, just as the sun is rising, they come to the tomb (Mk 16:1-2). And on entering it they are dismayed, for they cannot find the body of our Lord. A youth, clothed in white, says to them: Do not be afraid. I know you seek Jesus of Nazareth: he is not here, for he has risen, as he said (Mt 28:5).
He has risen! Jesus has risen. He is not in the tomb. Life has overcome death.
He appeared to his most holy Mother. He appeared to Mary of Magdala, who is carried away by love. And to Peter and the rest of the Apostles. And to you and me, who are his disciples and more in love than Mary 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 in 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 opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and he appoints them witnesses of his life and his miracles, of his passion and death, and of the glory of his resurrection (Lk 24:45 and 48).
Then he brings them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany and blesses them. And as he does so, he withdraws from them and is carried up to Heaven (Lk 24:51) until a cloud receives him out of their sight (Acts 1:9).
Jesus has gone to the Father. Two angels in white approach us and say, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to Heaven? (Acts 1:11)
Peter and the others go back to Jerusalem: with great joy (Lk 24:52). It is fitting that the sacred humanity of Christ should receive the homage, 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.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Our Lord had said: I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, another Consoler, to be with you forever (Jn 14:16). The disciples were gathered together in one room when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from Heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house where they were assembled. At the same time something appeared that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them (Acts 2:1-3).
The Apostles were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they seemed to be drunk (Acts 2:13).
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the people in a loud voice.
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 Spirit and of the Father.
He is not stoned or thrown into 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 Spirit.
God has taken Mary, body and soul, to Heaven; and the angels rejoice!
So sings the Church. And so, with that same cry of joy, 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, greets our Lady. You and I -children after all- take the train of Maryís 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 the Ladyís majesty that the angels exclaim: Who is she?
The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin
You are all fair, and without blemish. You are a garden enclosed, my sister, my Bride, an enclosed garden, a sealed fountain. Come: you shall be crowned (Song of Songs 4:7, 12 and 8).
If you and I had been able, 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, adorned with the sun, and the moon at her feet (Rev 12:1). Mary, Virgin without stain, has made up for the fall of Eve: and she has crushed the head of the hellís serpent with her immaculate heel. Daughter of God, Mother of God, Spouse of God.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit crown her as the rightful Empress of the Universe.
And the Angels pay her homage 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.
Now the chorus of praise bursts forth in all its splendour of new light and variety of colour and meaning.
We call upon the Lord, upon Christ; we petition each of the divine Persons, and the most holy Trinity; we speak words of ardent love to Mary: Mother of Christ, Mother most pure, Mother of good counsel, Mother of our Creator, Mother of our Saviour..., Virgin most prudent..., Seat of Wisdom, Mystical Rose, Tower of David, Ark of the Covenant, Morning Star..., Refuge of sinners, Comforted of the afflicted, Help of Christians....
And the recognition of her reign -Queen!- and of her mediation.
We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God.
Deliver us from all dangers, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.
Pray for us, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, that we may be made worthy of the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ.