Resurrection Morn

Matthew 28:1-8   Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.  And behold…an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow … But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for he has risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him…”

In daylight hours, this exquisite Tiffany window dominates the Nave, proclaiming hope, comfort, and a sense of direction for life to all who contemplate its message.

The dark blue nighttime sky fades in the distance as a rose-tinted dawn warms the horizon.  A winding stream and the greenery of trees, shrubs and grass suggest a garden, until a white stone tomb is noticed on the right.

Standing erect in front of the sepulchre is the figure of an angel garbed in white, identified by large wings and a palm branch in his left hand.  The angel’s back is toward the tomb and his right hand is held high in greeting as he faces the two figures on the left side of the window.  It seems to be the very moment when he announces, “Do not be afraid…he has risen!”

The posture of the two women reveals their individual responses to the angel’s message.  With hands clasped together and extended slightly in front of her, the upright figure faces the angel in awe and wonder.  To her left, her companion kneels quickly in deference to this message from heaven, her right hand held outward as if to balance herself.  In her left hand she clutches to her bosom a box of spices intended for the body of Jesus.

Matthew identifies the two as “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.”  The latter refers to the “mother of James and Joseph” who had witnessed the crucifixion and burial (Matt. 27:56,61).  One tradition suggests this “other Mary” may have been the Virgin Mary’s sister-in-law, the wife of Joseph’s brother, Clopas.  In the Gospels, the two women are often named among the followers of Jesus.

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