Monday after Easter
1 Cor 15/1-11; Marc 16/9-14
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this feast day of the Virgin Mary I want to meditate with you on the virtues of Virgin Mary who participated in the glory of Her alive and resurrected Son, as well as on the behavior of the other Maries. I quote the following three points:
- The presence of Mary. She accompanied Her Son who was born to accomplish the will of His Father, from the first moment of His mission. In the temple on the eighth day and when he became twelve years old, as well as during His teaching, she understood very well that He had come to fulfill the will of God the Father, this Daughter of David, who was called by Him to become Mother of the Son and of all of us, on the cross, at the hour of glory, in the resurrection and with the apostles in the upper room during Pentecost. Mary is the daughter, mother, friend, image of the Church who shares what She has lived with the apostles and continues to share it will each one of us, in front of His cross, in His glory. She inspires us the peace of the heart of Her Son Jesus.
- The other Maries. The other Maries have experienced themselves the presence of Jesus in their lives. Mary Magdalene, sentenced to death for adultery, but forgiven through His love and compassion, was the first to announce the biggest event in human history, He is no longer there, He has risen. She who wept for her sin, she who wept in front of the love of God who freed her, she who wept of joy for His victory over death, over His death and over ours, announces that He is alive; He is alive for all of us mortals. Let us approach Him. He is the God of the living and not of the mortals.
- Mary and her sister Martha. They asked for the life of their brother, his resurrection. In order to prepare the big event, and in the context of Easter and especially the new Easter which is His, which is Himself, Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the dead and shows that He is the source of life. Mary wanted to leave everyone and everything in order to hear His word, while Martha devoted in His service. Mary listened and Martha served. We are in front of a beautiful picture of the Church, but listening preludes service. A good hearing of the word of God so as to understand His desire leads to a good service towards others; otherwise service is given without meaning and purpose. Jesus is the servant of humanity like someone who listens to the voice of His Father and fulfils His will. His death on the cross is the greatest service of mankind, whom He transferred from death to eternal life.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are called to witness the living God like the Virgin Mary and the other Maries. She is the Theotokos, who accompanies us and our community on this land of our fathers and ancestors. To Her we offer our villages, our island and the whole world and we ask Her to guide us in the path of Her Son. Amen.
Nicosia, 16 April 2012
† Youssef Soueif
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus