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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: Dear Mother Mary, thank you for being my Mother. Be with me as I seek to follow your Son, Jesus. St. John, thank you for being such a model disciple that Jesus entrusted his mother to you. Mary Magdalene, your penitence, perseverance, and faithfulness throughout Christ’s Passion inspires me. All you holy men and women, pray for me.
- Our Blessed Mother: Jesus gave us a wonderful gift as he died on the cross: Mary our Blessed Mother. Notice that he gave John to Mary first: “Woman, behold, your son.” Just as a mother holds her child at once when she gives birth, Jesus entrusted John to her loving care. Then he gave Mary to John: “Behold, your mother.” As Christian disciples, we are given to Mary, and she is given to us as well. We can ask ourselves, do we truly love and honor our Mother Mary as we should? Are we grateful for her motherly protection?
- Stand at the Cross: Mary and the other disciples stood at the foot of the cross. This is an interesting detail to consider. Mary did not sit or even kneel. She stood with strength while she bore the sorrow of her son’s Passion and death. When you are faced with trials and need strength, try standing at the foot of the cross. Find a crucifix in your home or go to the sanctuary at church and stand there next to it in imitation of Mary. Stand and pray for Christ’s strength: “Passion of Christ, strengthen me!”
- To Jesus through Mary: No one was closer to Jesus than Mary, his Mother. She carried him in her womb. She loved and taught him as a child. She was his first disciple. Along with Sts. John and Mary Magdalene, Mary remained close to Jesus to the last. She was with him throughout the good and the bad. She is our Mother, and she wants to be with us through our joys and sufferings as well. In Heaven, Mary is still close to Jesus. When we pray to her, she brings him our needs. If we want to grow close to Jesus, we draw close to Mary. St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “Mary is the quickest, shortest, and easiest path to Jesus.” May we seek to imitate her and so imitate Christ.
Conversing with Christ: My Jesus, thank you for the gift of Mary, your Blessed Mother and mine. I am sorry for the times that, through my sin, I have failed to be the child of God and child of my Mother that you want me to be. Please give me the grace of a willing heart, a heart that seeks to imitate you and Mary. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Resolution: Lord today by your grace, I will pray a rosary in thanksgiving for Mary, my Blessed Mother.
For Further Reflection: Read The Imitation of Mary by Thomas à Kempis. Read a little bit each day and seek to imitate her.
Carey Boyzuck is a wife, mother, freelance writer, and lay member of Regnum Christi. She blogs at www.word-life-light.com.
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