Friday, 22 April 2011

Station XII: Jesus on the Cross; his mother and his friend

The thing that I am proudest of in my life is that I am a parent to two wonderful little girls. They consistently take my breath away with their quantum leaps of development, their already well-formed senses of humour and their pure beauty.

The thing I most fear in my life is losing my daughters. The mere prospect of their untimely end is enough to bring me to the edge of tears. For a parent to lose a child is of the most acute tragedies that life can bring to a person, and here we have one such parent. 

Mary knew how this would end. We still have the words of Simeon echoing in our ears - 'and a sword shall pierce your own soul too'. For Mary, this is that moment. I think that most parents would have given their own life to try and free their baby from such a tortuous end. Most parents would claw the cross to match-sticks given half the chance. For Mary, the worst of the worst had to happen and all she could do was watch. 

For Jesus, this is equally painful. No child gladly watches the agonies of their own mother, and despite that, Jesus  assures her of a secure future. He gives over her care to faithful John, yet another act of absolute consideration as his own life waned to its close. 

'Woman, here is your son.' Then he said to the disciple. 'Here is your mother'. [Jn 19: 26]

My prayer at this Station is for all mothers, more especially those who have lost children or for whom relationships with their children is severed or damaged

Lord Jesus, your mother and your dearest friend stayed with you to the bitter end,

yet even while racked with pain you ministered to them:
be with all broken families today
and care for those who long for companionship.
You cared for your loved ones even in your death-throes:
give us a love for one another
that is stronger even than the fear of death.
To you, Jesus, loving in the face of death,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen

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