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“Woman, look, here is your son!” Mary’s discipleship is a living "here I am"

“Voluntary pains have such power over the Divinity, as to have the strength, the empire, to tear the womb of the Celestial Father, and from this tearing which they form in God, make seas of graces overflow”

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“ …Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, look, here is your son!” He then said to his disciple, “Look, here is your mother!” From that very time the disciple took her into his own home.. (John 19:25-27).

A great multitude crowds under Golgotha, just outside the walls of Jerusalem. The Roman soldiers barely manage to contain it, to keep at a distance the many people who gathered to attend the crucifixion of Jesus Nazarene, to enjoy the spectacle of the execution of this inconvenient prophet, of His killing on the ignominious gibbet of the Cross in the company of two evildoers.

The centurion who commands the squad of soldiers takes pity on Mary's excruciating pain and allows Her to come closer, to stay close to Her dying son.

The Virgin Mary, supported by the women who accompany her, approaches the cross and, with a supreme gesture of love, embraces the bare wood that pours the blood of her son. The Virgin Mary remains fixed, silent, petrified by an inexpressible suffering but at the same time She adores the mystery of the Redemption that is taking place. Mary is there, standing with a dignity and absolute composure, but She is also a woman, she is a mother, a creature and in that difficult and mysterious situation She needs the presence and support of the women who are beside her,  and that can share her terrible pain, trying to make it less harrowing if possible.

The eyes of the Holy Virgin can not detach themselves for an instant from the tortured body of Jesus, who is immobilized on the scaffold. She hardly recognizes in those disfigured features the beautiful fruit of her womb, her son, the Son of God, the gift of the Father's love, the reason and the ultimate meaning of her being mother, disciple and believer, of her very existence. Mary cannot understand the meaning of so much evil, the reason for such great violence, the desire to annihilate, stubbornly pursued by the scribes, the Pharisees and the priests of the Temple against her son.

The crowd that just a few days before praised Jesus, acclaiming Him as the Messiah, now insults Him and derides Him, after invoking His death before Pilate. Nevertheless, what most baffles Mary is the solitude of Jesus, the abandonment by his friends and the more painful one by His disciples.

The apostles fled all, they feared they could be killed. Peter himself, for fear or more probably for the shame of his betrayal, is not next to Jesus.

With dishonor to men, the small group that is with Mary under the cross is formed exclusively by women, except for the youngest of the disciples, John who proved to be the strongest, the bravest, the most willing to take risks. In him, love prevailed over fears and doubts. John will have the task of gathering the last wishes of Mary’s dying son.

The little woman of Nazareth is aware that the kingdom of God in its manifestation is always shocking as it overturns values and deeply held beliefs. The Kingdom of God follows humanly inscrutable logic, it implies the need for continual conversion, it requires an adhesion founded on an unconditional trust even in the face of what is incomprehensible. Mary placed herself in a definitive and progressive way under the lordship of the Almighty, letting herself be loved by the inexhaustible and inexpressible love of the Eternal who has no boundaries and limits in communicating and offering Himself. Mary’s belonging to the Lord is expressed in a discipleship that is a living "here I am".

The Virgin Mother teaches us that to be disciples means to contemplate God within us. Discipleship is an itinerary that requires complete dispossession, we should leave everything to go as poor and naked people behind Jesus Christ, following the path of donation to the end, until we climb along the steep hairpin bends of Golgotha and push ourselves to the foot of the cross. The path is tiring, full of obstacles and our steps are uncertain and difficult. Our natural fragility and the inevitable experience of pain make us insecure, lost. However we must avoid the illusory shortcuts, we should strongly mistrust easy answers to the difficult questions of life, the reassuring formulas of those who foretell us that everything is clear, an idea of God and of the faith that claims to sweep away doubts, fears and anxieties.

We should not listen to those who claim to tell us, without uncertainty or hesitation, what God wants or will do for us, or those who present the Lord as the one who solves our problems, unleashing the arsenal of his solutions and consolations, a sort of pharmacist able to pull out the right medicine at every occurrence. Instead, it is essential to follow the Master, carrying the cross on our shoulders, that is, doing His will every day, without being afraid of leaving everything, because only by abandoning everything for Jesus, we will come to possess truth and freedom, joy and fullness of life. On Calvary we will arrive staggering, but that is our place, the place where we should stop, where we should seek and find the meaning of our being and our going.

This is what Mary did, uniting Herself entirely to Jesus above all in His Passion. In a passage of January 30, 1927, Jesus explained to Luisa how the sufferings suffered by Mary Most Holy and those of her Son were pains of office.

There is an immense difference between one who must form a good, a kingdom, and one who must receive it in order to enjoy it. Jesus came upon earth to expiate, to redeem, to save man; and in order to do this He had to receive the pains of creatures, and take them upon Himself as if they were His own. His Divine Mama, who was to be Co-Redemptrix, was not to be dissimilar from Him; rather, the five drops of blood which She gave Jesus from Her most pure Heart in order to form His little Humanity, came out of Her crucified Heart. For God the pains were offices which He came to fulfill, therefore they were all voluntary pains, not impositions of a fragile nature.

In spite of so many pains of theirs, which They had in order to carry out their office, highest happiness, unending and ever new joys, continuous Paradise, were inseparable from Jesus and from His  Queen Mother.

Just as the nature of the sun is to give light, and that of water to quench one’s thirst, that of fire to warm and to turn everything into fire – and if they did not do so, they would lose their nature – so it is the nature of the Divine Will to make happiness, joy and Paradise arise, wherever It reigns. Will of God and unhappiness does not exist, nor can exist; or, Its complete fullness does not exist, and this is why the rivulets of the human will form bitternesses for the poor creature.

Even when Jesus was on the Cross, and His Mama was crucified at His divine feet, perfect happiness never disassociated from Him; and if this could happen, Jesus would have had to go out of the Divine Will, disassociate Himself from the divine nature, and act only with the human will and nature. Therefore, His pains were all voluntary, chosen by Himself as the office which He came to fulfill – they were not fruits of the human nature, of fragility, or of the imposition of a degraded nature.

This was also the victim's office accomplished by Luisa. Jesus asked her if, voluntarily, she would accept; and she, with full will, accepted, and pronounced the Fiat.

Voluntary pains have such power over the Divinity, as to have the strength, the empire, to tear the womb of the Celestial Father, and from this tearing which they form in God, make seas of graces overflow, forming the triumph of the Supreme Majesty and the triumph of the creature who possesses this empire of her voluntary pains. Therefore, both for the great portent of Redemption and for the great prodigy of the Kingdom of the Fiat, voluntary pains were needed - pains of office, which were to be animated by a Divine Will; and holding empire over God and over creatures, they were to give the great good which their office enclosed.



Don Marco
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