May 29th, 2023

The Gospel according to John (19:25-34)

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.

Reflection: Today we celebrate the Blessed Virgen Mary, Mother of the Church. Our Mother Mary is the prime example of what motherhood is all about. Mary emulates that special bond that mothers have for their children and there is nothing else that comes close to it. Therefore, ALL mothers imitate this special Love.

I have always heard these great stories about having a grandchild, but I never experienced it. Two months ago, I was blessed to have my first grandchild. Now I don’t have to tell you how amazing it is, but I will say that having Ellie has changed not only my life but the lives of my wife Connie and my other children as well. Our home has risen to this new level of grace, a higher level of love, and filled with a new level of joy. My daughter Ruby (Ellie’s Mom) has adopted this maternal instinct that is so beautiful and amazing to watch. There is a new reason that is electrifying to rush home to. It’s amazing how this tiny human being can bring so much love and joy into this home.

Mary never asked for pain and sorrow. The first announcement of her vocation by the Archangel Gabriel mentioned nothing about it and only being filled with graceful promises. However, soon after Jesus’ birth, Simeon enlightens her vocation by saying: “…and a sword will pierce your heart that the thoughts of many might be revealed.” Now fast-forward the Life of Jesus and Mary; Mary recognizes the fulfillment of her calling in the accompanying of her Son during his crucifixion. She does this with deep pain but with a desire to fulfill God’s mysterious plan, but standing close to Jesus with all the sorrow and agony that this implied for her.

The words Jesus speaks to his mother and his beloved disciple are equivalent to his last will and testament. He bequeaths what is most precious to him to a beloved person. To Mary, he gives the friend that he loves so much, who will also need her help in the difficulties he will face. To John, he gives his greatest human comfort, his mother, who is his best disciple. He knows that she needs him, an adopted son, to comfort and accompany her.

John took his responsibility for Mary seriously, taking her into his own home. She took her role seriously, so seriously that she immediately perceived that all those she encountered were her adoptive sons and daughters. In this house, that is the Church; Mary is the sweetness of the traditional saying, “Home, sweet home.” Mary has adopted each and every one of us and has given us unconditional love by the request of her son Jesus. She has embraced us with all we do and shows us her love and compassion so we may do the same to each other. So let us embrace her and our fellow brothers and sisters.

Action of the Day: I will make my devotion to Mary very personal, whether it be in spontaneous conversation with her or contemplating the mysteries of Christ’s life while praying the Rosary.

Audio Reflection:

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