Publish date 03-11-2022

by Alberto Brigato

We were in the days of Easter, waiting for Pentecost. Even here in Brazil the Gospels were all focused on the most important days in human history. Here the liturgy of the mass and other religious meetings is sung a lot and, surprisingly for us, it is also very participatory: they sing everything, everyone sing and sing from the heart. It is a very lively and concrete expression of one's faith, animated with songs, clapping, raised arms as a sign of praise, the whole body sings, prays and participates with the pathos appropriate to the Gospel just read.

Taken by this musical transport, I was humming something and I got inspiration. Anyone who knows me knows that I have many (perhaps too many) and that I also like to go after her, see if she can have legs, speak in a concrete and tangible way about my life, or remain another of those light and vaguely romanticized thoughts that color the our days.

I accompanied Caterina Caselli in her famous one. Goodbye love, hello and at the phrase "you die a little to be able to live" I stopped. Now, far be it from me to want to pass for blasphemy or trivialize Sacred History, but after Jesus Christ Super Star ... would it be so unthinkable to have Caselli sing something like this too? (I apologize to Andrew Lloyd Webber in advance!). So.

One dies a little in order to live (and truly live): the resurrection explained in seven words. Death, the descent into hell and the return to Life, but not just any life or the one before, a new life, a Risen Life, full. After the resurrection we truly live, and not once and for all, we can experience every day, die a little to ourselves, in discussions, in the family, at work, and then live again, in another way. We die a little. Not all of them, the resurrection does not cancel passion and death, the nail marks always remain, each of us carries with us and within the crucifixions received and those given, we never lose our humanity, indeed it is precisely the one that must rise again to New life, otherwise the old life remains, dressed as an Easter dove.

That person is not you, that person is no longer: ça va sans dire, here is the Magdalene speaking, as soon as she turns and sees Jesus, thinking he is the gardener, she grasps the similarities of that man, but he has changed, he is Risen , he is no longer the man who died on the Cross, but he is still the Beloved, no longer the Expected One, but the Present in our lives today. It must not have been easy to recognize it, sometimes we have in our eyes the image that we want to give to the other, that we desire for the other or that over the years we have become accustomed to seeing ... how many small resurrections in our life and in that of the others take place in silence, without the sound of a trumpet and waiting to be recognized.

It ends here, who goes away what harm he does: poor disciples, closed in the house, for fear of being put on the Cross too; they hum this refrain. It is interesting that in the original text there is no punctuation, no question mark, no exclamation point. Perhaps the incipit is only given by those who sing, and often one does not exclude the other, over time!

Goodbye, love, hello: it is always difficult to get Mary to speak, especially on such a difficult occasion as the passion, but this "goodbye" remains significant. It is not a goodbye, it is not all over, it does not close the story, but trusts in an upcoming meeting, knows that he will see him again, in his heart he trusts in a relationship with the Son, who has no end. Goodbye, a delicate greeting that contains an invitation to return soon, a greeting that only a Mother can give.

I am no longer with you, I look at the clouds up there: this is what the disciples thought during the ascension, with their eyes fixed on the clouds, heartened to know that they will no longer be alone, they have recovered their security, the desire and strength to speak freely about what they have experienced. It is not a goodbye, a return to fishing as they did three years ago, even if they tried, the old life is over, the resurrection has only one possible path, forward. With different times, with different steps and certainly with some stops, like pilgrims who look at the weather before moving. It is therefore moving and very human to think of them with their noses up, chasing the last cloud, deliberately losing some time, delaying their departure as much as possible, having to pronounce that last, beautiful "Goodbye".


Alberto Brigato
NP Giugno Luglio 2022

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