Tuesday, March 20, 2018

At the Foot of the Cross

As the Triduum is approaching us I find myself reflecting on the most solemn day of the liturgical year, Good Friday. We meditate on the Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ; our Savior who redeemed the world by making the ultimate sacrifice on the cross by giving His own life to save us from our sins. I find myself thinking about Our Lady, and what she must have been pondering in her mind and in her heart. While she watched her Son hang on the cross with hands and feet pierced although no words spoke from her lips we know that she understood then the words of Simeon, "This child is destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed - and a sword will pierce your own soul too" (Luke 2:34-35).It is not simple imagery to place Mary at the foot of the cross watching her Son die, knowing that He chose to be nailed and placed up on that cross because it was the will of His Father. In her intense grief from the death and suffering of her only Son this sword of grief pierced her soul.

There were few words exchanged between Jesus and His mother in scripture, but we know that their emotional bond as mother and Son was so strong and powerful that there were not many words that needed to be said. A precious relationship between a mother and a child is so intimate in nature that it is difficult to even describe in such a way that captivates its true essence. 

The relationship of Mary as the Mother of God first begins when the angel, Gabriel, visits her and she responds with the words, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38). Then at the Wedding at Cana we see that Mary tells Jesus simply, "They have no wine" (John 2:3), which shows her trust in Jesus, as the Son of God to be able to do something to remedy the situation, and then her words to the servants "Whatever He says to you, do it" (John 2:5) again shows her relationship with God in knowing that whatever Jesus does will be according to the Father's will. It was in in that moment at the foot of the cross when Jesus said to the Blessed Mother, "Woman, behold your son" that Mary understood the words of Jesus in which she became the spiritual mother to all of Christ's disciples; she became the Mother of the Church.

I know on Good Friday this year while I spend time in the silence that I will focus on trying to be more like Our Lady in trusting her Son even through times when it can be difficult or even times when things may seem hopeless. Jesus is always there in the mist of our sorrow and our woe. He is with us when we are grieving and when we feel as if the entire world is laying upon our shoulders. He is with us through persecution and suffering. I hope that all of you this Good Friday can take the time to stand at the foot of  the cross and try to give all of your burdens to Christ so that He may give you rest. Christ died for us, and He wants us to turn to Him in times of need as well as times when we are thankful. The bottom line is Christ has been and always will be there for us, and by giving His own life for us He has shown us that He is the way, the truth, and the life.


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