Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday : "Woman, Behold, Your Son"

We must constantly return to this last gaze that Jesus fixes upon Mary, His Mother. The Infant Jesus' first gaze upon His Mother remains in silence. The Infant Jesus' first smile for His Mother existed, yet we know nothing about it. What the Gospel does give us is this last look which is doubtless accompanied by a smile, the smile of Christ Crucified, wherein Jesus conveys all His love, looking at Mary and saying to her: "Woman." Under the motion of the Holy Spirit, we must hold this name in great esteem. We must not become accustomed to it. Rather, we must see what is so astonishing in it. This final gaze of a beloved son upon his mother--especially when that Beloved Son is God!--consists in His calling her: "Woman."

Let us understand that Christ is not using this term in the sense that is generally used when referring to "man" or "woman." It is much deeper. Is it true that Christ uses the conventional term. Perhaps this is precisely becaue Mary at the Cross is the Woman par excellence. She is the Woman as God has seen her in all her strength, the Woman par excellence. She is the New Woman, entirely relative to Jesus in His Mystery par excellence: the mystery of the Cross. She is the one who suffers with Jesus. She is the one who lives the same mystery that Jesus lives, who lives it with Him. She is so closely united with the Heart of Jesus that she endures everything He endures at the Cross, with and in Him. They are "one" as Jesus is "one" with the Father. We can say that Mary is "one" with Jesus at the Cross and that she brings to completion what is lacking in His Passion. [Cf. Col. 1:24] Of course, nothing is lacking as far as intensity of love is concerned; however, there is a lack as far as extension is concerned. And it is the proper role of woman to enable love to assume everything. This is perhaps the mystery of woman: to enable love to take hold of everything--that is, body and sensitivity, intelligence and will--and to render this love fruitful, to allow this love to become the source of another love, another life. Perhaps this is the ultimate secret.

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