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Third word: “Woman, behold your son! ... Behold your mother! " (first part)

“In the Heart of my Mother there was a fiber of maternal love toward each creature. This is why, when I was on the Cross, in truth and with justice I declared Her the Mother of all.”

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Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19: 25-27).

It is only John who talks about Mary's presence at Calvary, and indicates the same presence at another crucial moment in Jesus' life: in Cana of Galilee where He and His mother are invited to a wedding feast (Jn 2:1-2). In Cana the miracle of water that is transformed into wine takes place. Here, albeit in an obscure way, we witness the miracle of a death that is transfigured into life, a miracle of which the former was only a symbol and an omen, a moment that, in a repeated and constant way, Jesus loves to call His "hour". Mary is present in both circumstances. In Cana she forces her son's hand, forcing Him, so to speak, to anticipate His "hour"; at Calvary she receives a mission that will make her "Mother" of all those who will recognize themselves as disciples of her son.

In the gospel there is a precise, lapidary verb to describe Mary's presence under the cross: stabat! That is, she is upright and standing! However, we must not see in this "stabat" an imperturbable attitude as one who knows how to dominate one's feelings. Rather, as so much spiritual literature has highlighted, there is in this attitude of Mary the strength with which she shows that she understood that in this death there was a divine plan. It is a project that had God himself as its protagonist, a project for which this death was destined to demonstrate first of all to what extent God loved the world and, subordinately, to preach that humanity would be saved with meekness and forgiveness, and not with violence and revenge.

Everything we said above is a premise that enlightens and explains the "third word": "When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, “'Woman, behold your son! and to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home" (Jn 19:26-27).

It has been rightly said that under the cross a new way of establishing relationships between people is born: two people who have no biological relationship with each other find themselves to be mother and child for each other!!

This word of Jesus is very well known, but we risk not grasping all its revolutionary charge. In other pages of the gospel Jesus had already challenged the usual idea about parental relationships, and once precisely in reference to His mother!  He said that it is not the biological generation that establishes in a closed and definitive way the relationships of motherhood and fatherhood, parenting and sonship, being brothers and sisters. The criterion is another: "Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is for me brother, sister and mother" (Mt 12:50).

It is logical that this relationship was born under the cross. In fact, the first and last basis of any form of relationship is love, the true love that is revealed on the cross and in the gift of self.

The same love that bound Jesus to His mother, and Jesus to His beloved disciple, now unites Mary and John. It is a perfect circularity, almost a reflection of God who is Trinity.

Jesus' mission was unique, He saved humanity from sin, and precisely because Mary was united to Jesus in everything there was a mission for her too.

In the passage of May 1, 1925, Jesus tells Luisa that His Humanity was given by His Divinity the mission of the salvation of souls and the office of Redeemer – of redeeming them. Because of this office, Jesus was entrusted their souls, their pains, their satisfactions; so, He enclosed everything. And if Jesus’ Humanity had not enclosed even just one soul, one pain, one satisfaction, the office of Redeemer would not have been complete - He would not have enclosed within Himself all the graces, the goods and the light which it was necessary to give to each soul. And even though not all souls are saved, this says nothing; Jesus was to enclose the goods of all, so that, on His part, He might have the necessary and superabundant graces for all, in order to be able to save all. This was befitting to Him for the decorum and the just honor of His office of Redeemer.

The same happens to the sun which is above your horizon: it contains so much light as to be able to give light to all; and even if not everyone wanted to enjoy its light, because of the unique office of sun which it has, it possesses even that light which creatures might refuse. If this was befitting to the sun, because it was created by God as the unique sphere which was to warm the earth and embrace it with its light – in fact, when one thing or one office is unique, in order to be able to carry out its office, it is necessary for it to contain so much of that good as to be able to give it to all, without exhausting one atom of it in giving it to others – much more befitting was it to Jesus, who was to be the new Sun of souls; who was to give light to all and embrace everything with His light, to be able to bring them to the Supreme Majesty, and offer to It an act which would contain all acts, and make superabundant light descend upon all in order to place them in safety.

In addition to Jesus, there is His Celestial Mother, who was given the unique mission of Mother of a Son-God, and the office of Co-Redemptrix of mankind. For Her mission of Divine Maternity, She was enriched with so much grace, that all that belongs to the other creatures, both celestial and terrestrial, united all together, will never be able to equal Her. But this was not enough to draw the Word into Her maternal womb; She embraced all creatures, She loved, repaired, adored the Supreme Majesty for all, in such a way as to accomplish, Herself alone, all that the human generations owed God.

In Her virginal Heart She had an inexhaustible vein toward God and toward all creatures. When the Divinity found in this Virgin the requital of the love of all, It felt enraptured, and formed in Her Its Conception. And as She conceived Jesus, She took on the office of Co-Redemptrix, and She took part in, and embraced together with Him, all the pains, the satisfactions, the reparations, the maternal love toward all. So, in the Heart of our Celestial Mother there was a fiber of maternal love toward each creature. This is why, when Jesus was on the Cross, in truth and with justice He declared Her the Mother of all. She ran together with Jesus in the love, in the pains - in everything; She never left Him alone. If the Eternal One had not placed so much grace in Her as to be able to receive the love of all from Her alone, He would never have moved from Heaven to come upon earth to redeem mankind. Here is the necessity, the befittingness, that, having the mission of Mother of the Word, She embrace and surpass everything.

When an office is unique, it comes as a consequence that one must let nothing escape him; one must have everything under one’s eyes, so as to be able to hold out that good which one possesses; one must be like a true sun which can hold out light to all. So it was for Jesus and for His Celestial Mother.


by don Marco



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