Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,
“Woman, here is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Here is your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.John 19: 25-27
How hard it must have been for Mary to see her son on the cross, though she knew this day was coming. She had been warned when Jesus was just 8 days old. When she and Joseph took him to the Temple to be dedicated, Simeon took the child in his arms and said: “This child is destined for the falling and the 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 to Mary, he said: “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Yes, Mary knew this was coming. But how hard it must have been, as she watched her son die this cruel death, and as he gave her to another in these tender words, “Woman, here is your son.” And to the disciple whom he loved, “Here is your mother.”
Even while dying on the cross, Jesus was taking care of those around him. He was forgiving his enemies; he was bringing hope to strangers like the thief hanging next to him; and he was making sure that his own mother would be taken care of after he died.
This word, this tender word spoken by Jesus to his earthly mother, makes it all so real. It is almost too much to think about – Jesus’ mother standing there watching her son die.
But if it is hard for us to think about, how much harder would it have been for Mary to experience? What mother would not gladly trade places with her son in such a time? But there was no other way. It was his task to die on the cross for the sins of the world. And it was her task to accept it. And so she did.
“Here am I,” she said when the angel first brought news that she would give birth to our savior, “the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Take time in silence to give thanks for Mary’s willingness to accept her call. How are you being called to bring Christ to this world?