"After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ "

Matthew 28: 1-10 (NRSV)

None of the gospel accounts mention Mary's presence among the women going to the tomb, though Tradition has it that Mary was the first person Jesus appeared to after the Resurrection. This would be fitting and would explain her absence. Her faithfulness at the foot of the Cross showed her belief in her son's divinity that, even though she saw him die, she knew that it was not the end.

The presence of loved ones at the hour of death is a blessing for the person who is dying especially when, in the face of their own sorrow, they can commend the soul to the mercy of God. At such times, faith in the resurrection can sustain those praying - remembering the constancy of Mary an inspiration and source of strength.

Pray for those who are dying and those supporting them.

     Mary, Lady of the Resurrection,
     your faith in your Son did not waver
     as you saw him placed in the cold tomb:
     you trusted the promises made to you long before.
     Pray for those for whom the hour of death has come
     and those preparing to commend them into the loving hands of God.

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