“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?”
Angels have a glorious sense of humor. When the disciples came to find Jesus after hearing of his resurrection, they ran as fast as they could to the tomb where angels greeted them with holy wit. They told them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?” One can only imagine the snicker they had to hold back at their statement.
And yet, their comment served as the key that unlocked the greatest realization the world has ever known. For they continued saying, “‘He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.’ And they remembered his words.”
They, the disciples, who were told over and over again in several different ways during Jesus’ ministry that he would die and rise to life again, finally “remembered his words.”
How could they possibly forget?
We do it too. How often do we receive the seed of faith with eager excitement to see it flourish, but then we realize that we have planted it upon the rocky ground where it cannot survive? Or perhaps it is planted amongst the thorns and then choked to death? How often do we act with zeal to attain the highest degree of knowledge and wisdom of our God and then succumb to the distractions of the world? Worse yet, how often do we justify our worldliness with “holy excuses” that rationalize our ignorance?
More often than we think.
And yet, the angels appear to us in their sly ways and remind us with their guiding words, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?”
To their credit, the disciples who arrived at the empty tomb experienced an unbelievable truth that day. No one had ever risen from the dead and no one has ever done so since. News like this was hard to fathom and they needed a truly “holy excuse” to rationalize their ignorance. That is the power of sanctifying grace.
We who are human exist as an outpouring of God’s love. Without him, we are nothing. This has always been the case, even before the resurrection. After the resurrection, however, we were given the immense blessing of sanctifying grace which operates in full force like a magnet to all of us who desire answers to our existential questions, meaning in our lives, and love in our hearts. When we run as fast as we can to this gift, we become like the disciples who ran to the tomb that Sunday morning and we “remember his words.”
St. Paul reminds us, “If we have died with Christ, we believe that we are also to live with him. We know that Christ, once raised from the dead, will never die again; death has no more power over him. His death was death to sin, once for all; his life is life for God. In the same way, you must consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:8-11).
Our Lady experienced sanctifying grace at the moment of her conception. As a result, she was given infused knowledge of divine truths, one of which was the mystery of the resurrection. While none of her knowledge was ever 100% complete (1 Corinthians 2:11), for no one can know the mind of God, she of all people was the one who understood his words the most due to her unique role as Theotokos, the God bearer and the Mother of God. This was the reason she was able to persevere during the passion and death of her Son. It was also the reason that she maintained hope during the three days he was in the tomb.
But, oh what joy she must have felt that Sunday morning!
Her infused knowledge and unsurprising love is what she shares with us as our spiritual mother. To make your total consecration to her is to attain from her the same graces that allowed her seed of faith to be planted in rich soul so that it could “produce fruit one hundred, or sixty, or thirty fold” (Matthew 13: 8).
Mary is that rich soil in which we plant our seeds of hope. She is the same soil in which Our Lord was first sown and grown. And it is through her that all of us are born again and risen into life eternal.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Much of the content from this post came from a program I developed called Rosary Consecration: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary and her Most Holy Rosary. To gain access to the entire program for FREE, go to www.rosaryconsecration.com to get started today.
Image: Pieter Lastman, The Resurrection. Public domain.