Speak, Mary!


April 6  

On this Second Sunday of Easter, it is easy to be nourished by the Scriptures. Who does not identify with Thomas, the doubter, whom the Lord invited to prod his wounds, proving it was truly himself risen from the dead? “My Lord and My God!” we all cry out, just like Thomas. Christ says to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

After the Ascension, this is the way the apostles will evangelize all the nations—through witnessing Christ by proclaiming the Word. Christ will no longer be seen. They will speak to people, tell the story, explain Christ’s way of love, and declare his wondrous resurrection. We know through history how this set fire to the earth—how apostles and disciples scattered throughout the world preaching and proclaiming Christ with tremendous zeal. The apostles probably didn’t set out immediately to the four corners of the earth but first to their homes—to proclaim the resurrection to their families and those dearest to them. 

I would like to draw your eyes toward an ancient part of our Easter Liturgy, the sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes or Praises to the Paschal Victim. This liturgical poetry was proclaimed before the Gospel on Easter Sunday and each day this Easter week. Today, on the Octave day, it is optional to be sung or recited for the last time this Eastertide.

Of the entire text, let your heart land upon this: 

“Speak, Mary, declaring what you saw, wayfaring.

‘The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus’ resurrection; bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting. Yes, Christ my hope is arisen; to Galilee he goes before you.’”     

Here is Mary, lauded with this liturgical sequence for Eastertide since medieval times, telling the story of how she bore the good news of Christ.

Ladies, you are the Mary—the Magdalene to whom the Lord has revealed his resurrected self. 

The act of prophetic witness to the Gospel is not only for apostles and evangelists but for you. Yes, you. He has appeared to you and given you the grace of the knowledge of redemption. He has called you by name, and by this call you have recognized him in his glory. Imbued with this experience of the resurrected Christ, you are prompted to prophetically witness to him.

Speak, Mary! Tell us what you saw. Tell us what Christ did for you and for all of us. What you have seen matters; what the Lord has done for you matters—go and tell all the world! Your prophetic voice as a woman of God is a voice that the Church urges you to share, and she awaits your witness. Declare what the Lord has done for you—Christ has risen from the dead and he makes all things new! Start in your home, like the apostles, and carry it to the ends of the earth.

Proclaim the Genius & Share!
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