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This was the early morning of that first day of the Week. Jesus' friends react in different ways to the tragedy of their departed Master. The most conflicting feelings knock at the door of their hearts: has he promised us that he won't abandon us? Has he told us that He is the Life and the Resurrection? Is he the Lord and now trapped by death? Has following him been just an illusion?
It's the women who overcome fear and night; faithful to the "today" of the recent burial, in the act of the last service to Jesus, they will anoint his martyred body... And they're the ones who will receive the news never heard: He has risen! They are the ones who will awaken the Twelve and finally allow themselves to be found by the Risen One.
What a joy it is to walk in the footsteps of the women and the apostles, of the two of Emmaus... and like them to let ourselves be found by the Risen Christ!
Our vocation as new apostles starts from this experience of the living Christ.
At this moment in history, illness and death are visiting us so closely. We think of our sisters, their families, our collaborators and their families, the families of our students, friends; we think of the Claretian family, of the friendly congregations,...; we think of those who have given their lives serving in the front line of the battle against the virus; we think of so many who have witnessed countless cases, of the battle with death. In the face of this, let us do as a virtual convocation and direct our bewilderments, searches and pains towards the EMPTY TOMB.
There we will find one or two angels, who will invite us once again to believe: he has risen, death doesn’t get the last word! Let us take this hope wherever we are, wherever our messages and smiles arrive. Let us accompany, let us make community, open "connected". Let no one feel alone these days.
Mother Foundress said to the community of Cuba: "without Church and without anything, happy as Easter" (Letter 71). Like them, although in another context, we are living a Church made community, made sanctuary by the risen presence of Christ, forgiven and reconciled.
I wish to each one of you, to all those who share our life and mission, with the words of our Mother Foundress: "May the Lord grant you a happy Easter, and may you all rise with Him to a new life of grace by imitating the virtues that we have meditated on these days at the foot of the Cross.” (Letter 269)
Along with all the general team, a big hug, Jolanta
Mary will remember and understand, the words of Simeon, "...a sword will pierce your own soul..." from the death on the cross of her Son Jesus. In face of this, there could only be one response, one space where this pain could mature: silence.
The silence that is not sterile muteness but fertile space to reach the wisdom of God's plans. It is an inhabited silence that guards the hope of the newness that is sprouting.
There is silence on Holy Saturday because Life sleeps, and it takes an attentive ear and a heart that keeps all things to realize that life is already springing up. You just have to be silent in confidence. And wait...
Holy Saturday: It's a day of meditation and silence. Something similar to the scene in the book of Job, when the friends who went to visit him, on seeing his condition, were speechless, astonished at his immense pain: "they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:13).
Christ is in the sepulchre, he has come down to the place of the dead, to the deepest place where a person can come down. And next to Him, like his Mother Mary, is the Church, the bride. Quiet. Contemplating.
María, que vive su dolor desde la fecundidad del silencio, es imagen de la actitud cristiana en este tiempo de transición hacia la Pascua. Su silencio es fe ungida de esperanza. Calla y confía.
Mary, who lives her pain from the fruitfulness of silence, is the image of the christian attitude in this time of transition towards Easter. Her silence is faith anointed with hope. Be silent and trust.
- To contemplate the Cross, we sit very close to it and place ourselves at its feet in an attitude of welcome. Welcoming what He, from the Cross, wants to teach us, to make us understand, to see, to discover. We do not sit at a protection and safety distance... here it is quite the opposite: as close as possible. It is a prayer of acceptance of Salvation and of the way it happens. So much gratitude!
- We fix our gaze from the heart and stop before the face of Jesus. We find in him, as if blurred, the faces that live pain and anguish today... It doesn't take much imagination to bring them to our mind. It is a silent prayer of intercession. And the list of those for whom to pray today is endless...
- We stay and worship, yes.
- We also remember Mother Paris, who there, before the Cross, became a permanent disciple. On the Cross she saw the outline of the Order and the outline of her life: "The Lord taught me everything from the tree of the Cross". We ask her to teach us now her wisdom and the way to glimpse the traces of the fragile future. We ask her to give us a hopeful look at the today that people face in such fragility. May teach us how to give ourselves today, without measure, as HE does. We come as apprentices in the face of such a changing reality. It is a prayer of learning by waiting, so that with Mother Paris we can say: "I learned everything from the tree of the cross".
The wisdom of love is to give life without measure.
The wisdom of love is to give oneself without measure.
Broken bread, spilled wine... for the life of the world.
The general government is now ending the council meetings, which this time are longer than usual. Being in Rome for this unexpected time has allowed us to go deeper into the issues. We shared what we had experienced in the previous months, studied the budgets, and planned the next activities, from different prefectures. We follow the development of the seminar on interculturality that is taking shape in the research of the sisters; all of this nuanced by the disconcerting and challenging experience of the pandemic.
One of the last meetings was the usual shared meeting with the Claretian Missionaries. This time it could not be in person but online. In the encounter we dialogued and discerned together the shared project CLARET 150.
Our prayer embraces all those who in one way or another are affected by coronavirus. (Rome, April 7th, 2020)