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Behold Your Mother
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately Blood and water flowed out.
Opening Prayer: Mother Mary, in this special month of May, please bless me as I contemplate your suffering at the foot of the cross.
- His Last Gift: With his dying breath, Jesus presented his mother to the apostle John. With this gesture, he offers her to us as well. Afterward, John invited Mary into his home. Do we also invite Mary into our spiritual home? If we look to Mary when life gets tough, our relationship with her deepens. If we pray for her as an intercessor, situation after situation, our connection to her grows. If we are grateful for her, in life’s storms or on calm seas, our bond with her is solidified. If we pray the rosary, read about Mary, and talk about her, she becomes our constant companion. When we have faith in our Mother, we truly receive her presence as a gift—the gift Jesus intended for each one of us when he said, “Behold your mother.”
- His Thirst: In her well-known letter, “I thirst for you,” St. Teresa of Calcutta described the infinite love and thirsts of God. Jesus told her, “Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be me, I am there: waiting for even the smallest suggestion of an invitation that will permit me to enter.” Jesus longs to strengthen, console, carry, transform, calm, and heal us. He knows everything about us—our troubles, rejections, humiliations, even the number of hairs on our head. “All I ask of you that you entrust yourself to me completely. I will do the rest.” Do the words “I thirst” echo in our souls?
- It Is Finished: In his brief life, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the will of God. When he made the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, he proclaimed, “It is finished.” God’s plan had been perfectly executed. Those same words are true for us when we’ve run a race, completed a project, or endured a hardship. Jesus, however, accomplished his Father’s will in perfect union with him. We are called to do likewise. Our Lord wants nothing more than to be an integral part of our life—all of it. Next time we say, “Ahhh… it is finished,” may we also acknowledge that Jesus strengthened and accompanied us.
Conversing with Christ: I know I will never truly understand the sacrifice you made for me on the cross because I did not endure your life and suffering. Help me, Lord, to join every suffering in my life to yours, because I know that pleases you. By these offerings may I grow more appreciative of your sacrifice for me. Thank you for the gift of your Blessed Mother.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will invite you into every suffering I experience, knowing that I am accompanied by my Blessed Mother and you.
For Further Reflection: 33 Days to Morning Glory, by Father Michael Gaitley.
Karen Meiman, a former newspaper writer, editor, and photographer is a mom of four children and lives in a log cabin on fifty acres in Northern Kentucky. You can contact her at email@example.com