Easter is the joy of saying to the world: “I have seen the Lord”.
Dearest brothers and sisters of the Calabrian Family,
Peace, love and joy of the Risen Jesus be always in our hearts!
I fraternally greet you on the occasion of the Holy Easter, and I wish that we are able to experience the Risen Christ, the source of hope and joy for the humankind.
I share with you a small reflection that I feel very much in tune with the journey we are doing and living in our Opera: that is, what a great prophetic message it is for today’s world the joyous and credible testimony of our life.
The experience of the Risen Christ changes our life and fills our hearts with joy and love. It makes us more human, and gives us an extraordinary strength to announce the joy of Easter to all the people we meet on our journey.
Let ourselves be helped by the Word of God and by the experience of Mary Magdalene, who brings the message of the resurrection of Jesus to the Apostles after the encounter with the Risen One: “I have seen the Lrtd!” (Jn 20: 1-18).
The first day of the week, Mary Magdalene is the protagonist of an extraordinary encounter that upsets her life. She was looking for the Lord dead in the tomb, and met with the risen and living Jesus. She was not able to recognize him right away, mistaking him for the gardener, but in her simplicity and persistence she kept searching until the moment she was called by name: “Mary”!
Jesus calls her by name, and she sees herself recognized and loved by the One who gave his life for her. The transformation of life that changes the existence of every man and woman starts with a call by name, with the recognition of the dignity that everyone has here on earth. The eyes of Mary open to the vision of the beloved, her look lights up and she becomes an “Apostle of the Apostles”, according to the expression of the Fathers of the Church, and a bearer of the new and greatest hope: “I have seen the Lord”!
To see the Lord and to see God is the deepest and innate desire of the human heart. Every human being hides in the depth of his/her soul the desire to see and to contemplate God, since God created him/her in his image and likeness. Our task and mission, as Christians and as Calabrian Family, is to make the experience of the Risen One, and to make him known, making ours the ever relevant cry of Fr. Calabria “souls, souls, souls”.
Oftentimes I think and wonder how can people grasp what we, in the depth of our faith, live and experience of the resurrection of Christ. Sometimes they seem to ask:
How do you show me that you have seen the Lord? How can we live like a resurrected person? How do we show this in our daily life?
The same happens with the announcement of our charism, which proclaims to the world that God is the Father, and loves us, and takes care of every creature.
It should be an error to tell this only by lips, with beautiful speeches, with superficial advises that do not convince anyone, or even thinking that “we are good”. We can tell this mystery above all with concrete attitudes that spring from a meeting, from a particular light and a higher energy, that comes from the experience of the Risen Jesus, and from the charism that changes our life and the way we announce.
“I have seen the Lord”! I have touched his presence with my own hand, I felt called by name, I found my identity as child of God and I would like that every person on the earth could find his/her own identity and dignity, that no one were marginalized and dismissed due to poverty, sickness, frailty or other distinctions and human discrimination that unfortunately often occur.
The challenge of the Church and of the Opera is the same: to see Jesus and recognize him as the Lord in the ordinary events of our life, both human and ecclesiastical. [The challenge is] to see the signs of God and to show the brothers and the sisters of our time that God is visible and perceptible, and to announce what we have seen, touched and contemplated with our eyes (1 Jn 1: 1-3).
The invitation of this Easter, brothers and sisters, is to make us aware of a life-changing experience that urges us to live with joy and give witness to the love that conquers the world.
As Calabrian Family we have received a particular charism for the present times; we are called to live and communicate this experience that molds our life.
Let us entrust ourselves to the intercession of Mary Magdalene and St. John Calabria, may they help us live their own experience. In the hour of crying and abandonment, and in the different situations of life, let us listen to the Risen Jesus who calls us by name, so that with a heart full of joy we can go to announce: “I have seen the Lord!”.
I wish a Holy and Happy Easter to all! Pray for me; I will remember you always in my prayer.