As we look forward to Easter, we ask Jesus to allow us to take part in the last supper: we want to sit near the disciples and allow Him to wash our feet. We wish to enter this familiar atmosphere, loaded with faith, with respect, with the welcome that Jesus prepared for his beloved ones until the very end. We want to be instilled with the dedication He expressed in these ordinary gestures, as He follows the last stretch of the journey that leads to the fulfilment of the mission entrusted by the Father: to give up life for love of men and women of all times.
Jesus call us into question, with his mode of relating to others, when His hour had come He communicated the upcoming events with few words. He did not discuss with his disciples, He did not give into victimisation, He did not establish alliances to defend himself, He did not seek the culprit or the scapegoat, He did not attack anyone. He even rid himself of every obstacle that could hinder his service: in fact He cast off his vestments, He washed the feet of his disciples and dried them.
He bends down to everyone: to Jude who betrayed Him, to Simon Peter who denied Him, to all those who supposedly abandoned Him.
Jesus call us into question with the choice of constantly relating to others until the death on the cross, including those who abandoned him. His style that makes visible the new commandment of love, directed at recreating and cherishing the humane fabric, calls us into question. It prompts us to look into ourselves – even against everything and everyone – in this story that was so beloved by Jesus Christ, our travel companion. He enjoins us not to forget that we were all created to protect every living being, to restore the stories of the men and women of our present times, often torn by divisions, confrontations, demands, personal attacks. He urges us to rediscover situations of exclusion, to walk beside the poor, so rich in humaneness, often alienated and forced to beg for a glimpse of dignity.
During the last supper, ushering in a ray of light on a new mode of being, He teaches his disciples the urgency of becoming persons that relate to others through free bestowal.
He confers upon everyone the hope that stems from his eternal love, especially upon those living in the utter darkness of the faith or in sin: Jesus’ gaze towards Peter who denied him embraces the cry of repentance and hope.
After His Resurrection Christ chooses to reveal Himself to Mary Magdalene, a women created to seize every fragment of pulsating life. While the disciples abandon Jesus, Mary, feeling at loss and disoriented for so much suffering, intends to find her Lord. She seeks the One and only who had kindled her faculty to redefine herself as a person capable of relating to others, of loving, who recognized her as a person worthy of being loved. Having experienced an authentic relationship with Jesus, in her quest she expresses her great love for Him: “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” (John 20:13).
While Mary seeks signs of life in the body of her Lord, Jesus calls her by name… He who knows her womanly heart, called to be overwhelmed by the gift, to mend every tear, to listen with her heart, to respect the threshold of the mystery where is God and every person, in the revelation of His Resurrection, He tells her: “Do not hold on to me. Go instead to my brothers and tell them: ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John, 20:17).
Jesus sees that Mary is capable of endless love, thus He entrusts to her, to a woman, the message of His Resurrection.
He transmits it to one whose heart, having undertaken the path of love, beyond space and time, cherishes the Beloved One who won over death, and rightfully says: “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). While Jesus sees in her, a woman, an irreplaceable being, identifying her ability to develop the story of humanity according to God’s heart, Mary tells us that at all times and in all places signs of resurrection can flourish from faithfulness in love, searching with our hearts even amidst the smallest things.