Rebecca is one of the “matriarchs” of the chosen people. Cousin f Abraham, through a promise and a prayer she is chosen for spouse of Isaac, to keep the “purity” of the linage. But Rebecca is not a passive element in the fabric of the history of salvation. Belonging to her people through blood and love, she takes active part in the events. She decides by herself to come to the land of Isaac, she decides by herself who of her two sons will receive the blessing of their father. Her actuation makes God’s promise remain with her people. She feels that the preferential love of God takes care of the small ones; she will also favor more her younger son, Jacon, in opposition to her husband who will favor the elder son, Esaw. Just like God, Rebecca will remain faithful to her election, and that will make her worthy of veneration through all the generations.
The first encounter of Isaac and Rebecca takes place when he goes out on the field looking for some rest. Rebecca arrives from afar; when she sees Isaac, she goes down from camel and covers her face with veil. This is the way they get to know each other and fall in love. In spite of the tradition of that time, Rebecca remained the only wife of Isaac, even when for some time she was sterile. And her husband will always listen to her, even when Rebecca will do the greatest prank ever exchanging her sons.
For these reasons, on the pages of Writing of Francico Palau Rebecca appears as a symbol of the “love of God in solitude, the type of marriage between the Church and Christ, and of those who love her with Him” (MR 1,32). The solitude is, therefore, the privileged place of encounter and of strengthening relationships between the two lovers. It is here where Palau knows Her better, where he takes care of Her needs, when he offers himself to Her entirely, body and soul, at Her total disposition. In these conditions, he renews his love for the Church that becomes a deep and committed reality: spiritual marriage.
It is a dynamic kind of love that takes concrete action for the good of the beloved one; a love weaved of absence, that makes us attentive to searching, and of presence, that makes us fell calm trusting in the loving care of the One we know loves us; a love that will also launch us to action to please the heart’s desire of the beloved; a love that needs these moments of solitude and silence to continue giving fruits.
The figure of Rebecca is more than actual in our times, in our situation of women consecrated to the Church. Given the crazy rhythm in which we live occupied, supposingly, in the good of the wounded body of Christ, it is good to be reminded that love also needs these moments of solitude and silence. We need Rebecca to remind us that our Beloved “takes care of his friends while they slumber” (Ps 127,2); we need to encounter this intimate place of rest and repose, of total trust, of security that everything will be fine because we are cared by God. We need moments of returning “to the first love”, to this instance when our eyes crossed in a dessert field, to this encounter of passion and exclusiveness. We need Rebecca and her fidelity to God’s promises, her effort for keeping these promises alive among the people. God promised to the women his abundant blessing, his protection, even though in the middle of pain. And God never reverts his blessing when women show Him how much we care for these promises.
To finish this reflection, let us listen to the words that the Church personified by Rebecca says to Francisco Palau. Feel that it is your Beloved in person who directs them to you, inviting you to renew your relationship of a unique and committed love. Maybe you pass through difficult moments in your life: of tiredness, darkness, meaninglessness; maybe life is too much for you, you feel discouraged. Listen what the Lord tells you today:
“You have me. Do you love me? If you love me, why do you want to leave me? Do you want an efficient remedy for all your evils? Here it is: every evening and morning go up this mountain to pray, and in prayer you shall find everything. I will be on the mountain with you, faithful companion. You will pray with favor and in due time every morning and evening on this mountain, and in prayer you have me, and I am for you all the things; you will have it all having me. You shall come alone to this place, and you shall find me. The prayer will cure all your evils; don’t miss. You are to renew all your relationships with me. I am your Beloved, your Spouse. When your heart is abated by the weight of your miseries, and your understanding darkened by the darkness of life, I will come to renew our contract of love. Whenever you will need, and that will be often, to renew your spirit in the flames of love for your Beloved, call me and I will come to you. I am in you; I am one thing with you. If you don’t delete me from your heart with the lack of love, and from your understanding with your forgetfulness, I will be with you, and wherever I may be, you will be there, and I will be wherever you are. In the holy sacrifice of altar, I give myself to you, I lay down my head in your arms, I give you my flesh and my blood, I give myself entire to you every day. There, every day I renew with you my marriage contract. I love you. Offer yourself to me the way you are, with all your miseries, weaknesses, and frailties. You are mine, and I am yours” (Cf. MR 9,7-15).