A Mother's Way
Yesterday, at our parish mom's group, we prayed together Mary's Way of the Cross. If you haven't ever entered into the mystery of the Cross through the eyes of the Mother of Jesus, take a moment this year--before Lent is over--to do so.
One of the meditations struck me as particularly poignant considering a conversation I overheard between Naomi and Candace the other day while we opened boxes overflowing with books telling the Easter story. I'm certain these girls have *heard* the Easter story before, but that day the reality of it all seemed to hit them right between the eyes.
Candace: (pointing to the crown of thorns) What is that thing?
Naomi: That's the pokey thing that the people put on Jesus' head.
Candace: Do you think it hurt?
Naomi: Oh, it hurt. It even made Jesus cry.
Candace: Jesus cried?
Naomi: Jesus cried because He hurt, but Mary held Him because she's His mommy.
As I read through Mary's Way of the Cross yesterday, I kept thinking about the words of my three year old. Did Mary literally "hold" Jesus? I kept waiting to see, but as the stations progressed, Mary only watched and waited, prayed and wept. As we began station number 13-Jesus is Taken From The Cross-I could barely choke out the words on the page in front of me:
"The crowd had gone; the noise had stopped. I stood quietly with one of Jesus' friends and looked up at the dead body of our savior, my son. Then two men took the body from the cross and placed it in my arms. A deep sorrow engulfed my being. Yet, I also felt a deep joy. Life had ended cruelly for my son, but it had also brought life to all of us. I knew this had to be, and I prayed silently."
Sure enough, to the end, Mary was Jesus' mommy. As Mary lived what every mother fears--the loss of a child--she held Him. Do you remember Jesus' words from the cross to his beloved disciple, John? "Behold, Your Mother!" he commanded, knowing that Mary's motherly love, the mommy love that held her son at the beginning and end of His life, is ours, too. She's just waiting to hold us. And it took a three-year old to remind me.