Compassioned[1]

Mary, you, of all His followers, knew Him best, loved him from the time He became flesh.  You would have carried the Cross for Him if they had let You…wincing with every labored footstep.

You had been through agony with Him before:

  • as an unwed mother suffering the brunt of the malicious gossip;
  • as an expectant wife torn from her home and family when she was due;
  • as a new mother uprooted and exiled while others bewailed the death of their sons to save hers;
  • as the recipient of an unwelcomed prophecy, living with the foreboding sword;
  • as a frantic parent [odunwmenoi, Lk 2:48] who lost her child;
  • as God’s handmaid who was confronted again, this time with the self-emancipated teen who created her and yet, in obedience to the Father, went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them[Lk 2:51] [2];
  • as the mother of the public Jesus who had herself referred to a “Woman” at a friend’s wedding;
  • as a concerned mother who was twice again publicly challenged in her role by her son who describes true blessedness as “hearing the word of God and observing it” (Lk 11:27–28 and Lk 8:20–21).

and now you confront Your Son, a condemned criminal, on his way to his crucifixion.  This is the ultimate in com-passion, in suffering with.  Some might judge it was harder for you just to stand by and be able to do nothing…absolutely nothing.  This baby you breast fed, this child you nourished, this boy you taught, this son you comforted when your husband died, this man your son, whom you were promised would be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. [Lk 1:32-33]  Where was His Father, the Most High, the Lord God…

Is this the way you treat our son? Is this the way he is to be a king?  Well, he certainly was destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted [Lk 2:34] Just listen to them, they certainly are contradicting him now: “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, [and] come down from the cross!”… “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”[Mt 27:40, 42-3] “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”[Mt 27:46] WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME?

  • Remember what I told you at the very beginning: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with Me…The holy Spirit will come upon you, and My power…will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. [Lk 1:30,35] The…holy Spirit that the Father will…remind you of all that [I] told you. [Jn 14:26]
  • Remember what Jesus said to you at the wedding? “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”[Jn 2:4] His hour has now come...”the hour… for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” [Jn 12:23-24]
  • And do you remember your response:  “Do whatever he tells you.” [Jn 2:5]
  • As you above all know: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”[Lk 9:35]
  • This is his definition of your motherhood: My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.[Lk 8:21]
  • And remember what you must do: Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. [Lk 14:27]
  • Like Son, like Father: Mary, Come to me,…you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your… self. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”[Mt 11:28-30]
  • Answer me as you did then and ever since: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. [Lk 1:38]

And she wept. [See Jn 11:35] And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. [Lk 2:19, 51]

[1] Regardless of the fact that we have no Scripture reference to this meeting, we do have proof of His mother’s presence at the Crucifixion: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. [Jn 19:25]  Can you imagine what Mary was going through at this moment?  Jesus had his agony in the Garden; Mary hers on Mt. Calvary, the place of the Skull. It is not just grieving over a son lost in battle, a son dead in a car crash, a son who overdosed…these sorrows are beyond my ken, helpless, hopeless; with these mother’s Mary grieves today. Especially with those whose sons are taken in the prime of life by cancer or some lingering decline into death, she stands, watches and waits with them. Yet, unlike her, they did not have to watch their son taunted by those He had healed, tortured by those He came to save, carrying the very instrument which will be his death, unjustly, ignominiously, mutely, obediently at the hands of cruel men.  Truly, the prophesy of Simeon is devastatingly fulfilled:  and you yourself a sword will pierce. [Lk 2:35]  As sure as the lance that will pierce Her Son’s side, her heart is mortally wounded, ravaged, torn.

[2] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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