St. Mary at Easter Tide
The Blessed Virgin Mary has many beautiful titles. St. Mary at Easter Tide is my very own. Scripture is very silent about the Mother of Jesus after the Resurrection. We know that she is present in the upper room when the Spirit comes upon the Apostles at Pentecost. At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel tells her nothing about her future, except that her Son will be destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel. Mary’s first post-partum visit to the Temple portends a life of sorrow. According to Simeon, a sword will pierce her heart seven times. This most beloved young woman is left to ponder these things in her heart.
There are many good years together, until He leaves to find his cousin John at the Jordan. Then things go from bad to worse. Her friends and neighbors toss Him out of Nazareth. Jesus dies a horrible death; His mission a failure; her maiden’s vision becomes a bitter delusion. In his final words, Jesus entrusts St. John and Mary to each other – a final testament that seals the depth of grief.
There is no record of how Mary hears the news; of how she reacts. Who tells her? Jesus Himself? It seems that this duty falls to us. The noonday prayer echoes a wonderful joy – Regina Coeli laetare alleluia! Queen of Heaven Rejoice alleluia! … Resurexit sicut dixit! He has risen as He said (he would)!
Even though the words echo from my childhood at “Mid-century,” how well I remember and still experience the delightful childish skip in our hearts and step that we shared at Easter Tide. These are not the inspired words of the Gospel in the Hail Mary, nor the briefest of summaries of the Mystery of the Incarnation in the Angelus. For a prayer, Regina Coeli seems strangely out of character. There is no formality, no reserve. In our joy, we proclaim the Good News to the Mother of the Word Incarnate. God has turned our mourning into joy, but how could we ever begin to fathom what his news meant to the woman whose faith gave birth to us all?