Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
There at the annunication, pregnancy and birth, there throughout childhood, there to find him when he was lost at the temple, there at the first miracle and then..... well then nothing until the crucifixion, at the foot of the cross; there again we find Mary. What greater sadness is there than outliving your child; let alone seeing them suffer and die in pain. My heart goes out to Mary, my heart breaks for her at the way she saw him suffer and die. What torture for her to live through.
Mary was the only human at Jesus' birth and his death; there at the start and the end, and the actual end as we will see later this week. She was chosen by God for a huge task and she had to cope with the joy as well as the suffering through this. I know her pain; I feel her breaking heart and I stand alongside her every Good Friday in her grief.
But as John shows in these gospel verses; Jesus did not leave her passive in her grief. Before he left his human life he tasked Mary with mothering and caring for John - the first priest. Jesus trusted Mary to hold John safe through his ministry. He also tasked John to care for Mary; they became a family, a team. Jesus made sure Mary was not alone when he died, and he also made sure that her calling would continue.
Prayer of the Day
Jesus we remember today that you were born to live, to minister and then to die as a man. We are reminded of the pain that your mother Mary must have felt and ask that you be alongside all those who are suffering or grieving. Amen.