Everyone, really everyone there

Publish date 01-10-2022

by Arsenale della Speranza - S.Paolo

Lent, a sad time, with the usual misunderstood fasting and the usual much suffered via crucis; but if we put a face on these 14 paintings, a person in flesh and blood, if under the cross there were real people and not the usual holy cards?

At the Arsenale della Speranza we got ready for Easter by giving voice to some of the characters who lived those three days that revolutionized history and our lives. Give them a voice, so that they speak to the heart, because humanly we all need to be there, to feel there. Different characters, with different passions, each with their own Jesus to remember, their own guilt to be forgiven and their own pain to carry on, despite everything, even though it was all over there. All stopped at Calvary, at the cross, looking at the dead man, no one who went until Sunday, no one who rolled the stone. But I also don't want to stop until the next Triduum 2023; I want to go together with all of you, as perhaps it should be, until our Sunday.

I see Giovanni sweating from running, lovingly embracing the empty sheets; I see Pietro, who, as usual, arrives a little later, that he holds his head in his hands and is no longer understanding us much; the three pious women, still muttering on the stone and nudging each other, as if to say: «See? I told you so ». The centurion who perhaps began to believe, Malco who wanders among the olive trees listening to every noise, every rustle and the poor Cyrene, looking for someone to help, to lift at least for a moment. Nicodemus no, he is at home, perhaps so as not to lose his bad habits, perhaps because he had already exposed himself so much yesterday, but he has his time and will join us later.

Only she was missing to give voice to this story, the Magdalene, who made the way of the cross, the cross, the sepulcher and is now here, in silence, she who sees despite her tears, who caresses first with her heart than with her hands.
Precisely she who, as the first apostle, runs to call others, runs to call us all, to show us what cannot be seen, to make us discover what is no longer there: "she called me ... Mary ... and it is like echo that bounces in the heart ... He calls me, he pronounces my name, and it is as if it were a baptism, as if it were the first time I hear it. Thousands of times they called me, a thousand voices, a thousand faces, a thousand different ways of pronouncing my name ... Maria, the woman, the partner, the lover, the sister, the daughter, I have been all this for them, everyone has me called to make me be the one they wanted.
But this time no, this name of mine "Mary" is different from the others, it frees the heart, opens to tears, speaks to the soul, is at the same time the memory of a love and the surprise of something new. I don't even know who I saw, but that voice was Yours, it was love for me, only you could love so much, only you can still, now, call me by name, I recognized you, my beloved, only for the love that gifts. And now you are here, you are back for me, you are back for everyone, you are the Risen One. How could I hold you back? To hold back the One who is Love, human caresses are of a past life, now I have the living God before me, forever ".

Meanwhile, Our Lady makes her house happy with a joy that she does not belong to and that she can only share. She repeats these verses to herself: "Enlarge the space of your tent, spread the sheets of your abode without saving, stretch the cords, strengthen your stakes" (Is 54: 2).
In this way she prepares to welcome John's love, answer Peter's questions, dry Magdalene's tears.
In her house, she extends the table, takes other chairs and prepares a few more loaves, telling herself that they won't be wasted anyway. You know that we will all be there for dinner tonight.

Alberto Brigato
Arsenal of Hope - San Paolo - Brazil
NP May 2022

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