The Blessed Virgin And The Pascual Mystery

(By Obispo Elías Samuel Bolaños, SDB.)

The celebration of Easter for the people of Israel was the most important celebration, because it commemorated God’s great deeds in favor of Israel, his people, taking them out from the slavery of Egypt

Therefore, they joyfully celebrated the feast of Easter with a sense of gratitude and joy to God for His wonderful work. The book of Exodus, chapter 12, describes the details of the paschal celebration performed in each Jewish family. In memory of Christ’s Paschal Mystery, we cannot imagine Mary, the Mother of Jesus, absent from this celebration, since the next day she will accompany Jesus on the way and raising on the cross: “Jesus saw his mother, and with her the disciple whom He loved very much ... “(Jn 19: 26).

This allusion to the presence of the Mother on Friday, gives us a reason to think logically that on those days that Jesus lived in Jerusalem and during the last celebration of Easter he held, Mary accompanied his son.

St. Matthew describes the Lord’s Supper: on the first day where the unleavened bread was eaten, the disciples came to Jesus and asked him: Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal ...? The disciples did as Jesus had commanded them, and they prepared the Passover meal ... (Mt 26: 17-19).

The Jewish world assumes that the preparation of dinner, the decoration of the table to eat are the housewives. Certainly, the disciples would collaborate in these tasks, but women would be responsible for it. We imagine Mary, the Mother of Jesus, knowing the Jewish traditions who would prepare so many times the Feast of Passover for her Son and Joseph when He was in Jerusalem, as we know from the Gospels, he would participate in the preparation of the great feast of Easter. So, it would be a worthy feast day, because for Jesus it would be the celebration on which he based the New Passover, the New Covenant, and Mary is the protagonist of the new order, because she brought the author of the New Covenant to the world.

How could I miss it? The evangelist continues: “When night came, Jesus was at the table with the disciples ... (Mt 26,20). Mary is the first disciple, who has not been at the center of the dinner, but she would be in the preparation of food in the kitchen. Then, she would be serving near the room where her Son was and performing the Great Passover Supper, being responsible for distributing the food because it was what the mother did on the Jewish Feast of Passover.

We already referred to Good Friday; Mary finds her Son on the road to Golgotha. This statement is deducted from the affirmation of the Evangelist Luke: “Many people who cried and shouted of sadness for him, followed Jesus...” (Lk 23: 28). In effect, popular piety has introduced to Mary’s encounter with her condemned Son, who carries the cross on the Way of the Calvary.

The mother could not miss it, especially because Saint John ratifies: “Next to the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, and next to her, the disciple whom he loved very much, said to his Mother ...” (Jn 19: 25-26). The beloved disciple is a witness at first hand, because he has been with Jesus in the most transcendental moments of his life. When he affirms that his mother was before the cross, before his Son, sentenced, nailed and dead on the cross;!we are sure of that affirmation, because there is an eyewitness.

That is why we say that Mary had participated with Jesus on his sufferings, and his atrocious death; therefore, she has lived and participated in the Paschal Mystery of her Son.

Popular piety has also expressed the immense pain of a mother, when she receives her Son, descended from the cross lifeless and dead. Her Son has died, but for our faith, that dead Son, the Son of God, is the slain Lamb, “the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world,” the lamb sacrificed by the Israelites to commemorate the Jewish Passover. The mother receives him as the Lamb who dies for us. With what pain the mother would see her son to be buried in a new tomb, very close to where he was crucified.

What a great pain for Mary; deeply in her soul, echoed what Jesus had said to his disciples: “Now we are going to Jerusalem, where what the prophets wrote about the Son of man will be fulfilled. They will give him to foreigners, and they will make fun of him, insult him and spit on him. They will hit him and kill him; but on the third day he will be resurrected “(Lk 18: 31-33).

That phrase concerning the resurrection, will raise many questions, but also an expectation that something would happen after his death. The evangelists say that the apostles asked themselves: What did it mean to rise from the dead? Mary, who knew her Son from a young age, would encourage the hope that something would happen with her Son; and indeed on the third day, Mary Magdalene arrived hurried and nervous saying: “Then, Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and she also told them what he had said” (Jn 20: 18).

When this announcement came to the ears of Mary, the mother of Jesus, there would be a deep shudder in her for what she already suspected, and she would be happy with the Good News.

With Mary let us also rejoice and accompany Jesus in his Paschal Mystery: imprisonment, judgment, condemnation, execution, death on the cross, burial and resurrection. At the end of his mortal life, assuming our death, but to overcoming and destroying death “rising from the

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