Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, sends a message to the FMA, the Educating Communities, and the Salesian Family, wishing a Holy Easter of Hope.
the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, victorious over suffering and death, is a call to hope, especially in this historical moment in which humanity seems to have lost its bearings on the path of life.
Sometimes, we too are seized almost by a sense of bewilderment and helplessness in the face of violence, war, the dramatic consequences of climate change, the increase in poverty…
My attention pauses this Easter on Mary of Magdala, a woman who, after meeting Jesus, follows Him faithfully to the point of making Him her only reason for living.
John places her at the center of Chapter XX of his Gospel: on the day after the Sabbath, a woman goes alone to the tomb, before dawn, when it was still dark, made intrepid by her love and yearning desire for the Beloved. It is she who sees the stone rolled away from the sepulcher and runs to alert the apostles. We know the following text: Peter and John run together, enter the empty tomb, see and believe, but return home again.
Mary still remains alone in front of the empty sepulcher and weeps. Her personal suffered and passionate itinerary is accomplished through these tears. “Woman why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”.
Mary seeks the One she believes she has lost.
Only at the sound of the voice calling her by name does she shake off her pain, “Teacher! My Lord!”.
But the call immediately becomes an invitation to the mission: “Do not hold on to me; go to my brothers”.
It seems to me that this text is a good guide for us. In the moments in which we have the impression of being immersed in the darkness and grayness of things that are always the same, the hope of life pierces our uncertainties and gives us back the joy of the journey. It redeems us from the ‘shadows’ of history and illuminates our face; it sends us back to life to make it a place of resurrection. The encounter with the Risen Jesus transforms darkness into light, tears into hope, fear into courage; go to my brothers and proclaim…
Cardinal Kasper wrote, “The response to the ‘signs of the times’ will be prophetic, charismatic, holy women whom we hope God will give us. Charisms cannot be planned and organized; most of the time they arrive unexpectedly and often differently from how we had imagined them. Perhaps today, we again need a woman like Mary of Magdala, who on Easter morning woke the Apostles from their lethargy and set them in motion”.
We too are called like Mary of Magdala to wake up the world, to proclaim that Jesus is Risen, and with Him everything has a meaning, a reason, a hope. “I have seen the Lord!” (Jn 20:18).
With these sentiments, I wish a holy Easter to you dear sisters, to your family members, the Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, the Salesian confreres, the young people, the lay people and lay collaborators and friends, also on behalf of the Councilors.
I greet you with affection and assure you all of our prayers.
Roma, 9 April 2023
Sr. Chiara Cazzuola
Superior General of the FMA Institute