The 4th Station – Jesus Meets His Mother.
Jesus had been abandoned by his followers and denied by Peter. He was alone even as the crowds milled around him in the crowded streets. In the midst of that searing loneliness Jesus met His mother. How deeply Mary felt the pain of her son’s journey to Calvary. How she suffered to see Jesus abused and on his way to death. She was powerless to change the course of events, she could only be there. There was only that moment of seeing one another, of deep recognition, of shared faith that never wavered even in this absolute darkness. Mary’s presence was all she could give to her suffering Son.
Fr. Sam Explains…
The fourth station of the cross has to be one of the most moving encounters we have in our possession as Church. In it we see the whole summit of Our Salvation. Mary our Beloved Mother encounters her son on the tragic path towards his death. No mention of this is in scripture. Why? Do you think any words could express this encounter? Do you believe they even exchanged words? What could be said?
Mary and Jesus stand united under the tree of the Cross, both of them perfectly fulfilling the will of God. They are the perfect contrast to Adam and Eve who chose to disobey God under the tree of knowledge;
“In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.” – (Romans 5:18-19)
The loving gaze between Mary and Jesus spans the whole of Salvation. Mary gazes with agonizing love into her sons eyes as her heart wrenches, ‘Behold Mother, I make all things new’. From this tree comes life through death, gone is death from life.’
A Family Perspective…
A major turning point in my own conversion was the first time I watched ‘The Passion of the Christ’ film. The bit that really got me was when Jesus met his mother on the road to Calvary. Mary is standing in a side street almost paralysed by grief, watching Jesus pass by. It is as if she is hesitating to go to Him because the reality of what is happening is too awful. Then suddenly He falls under the weight of the cross.
Mary has a flashback of when Jesus was a toddler and a time He fell and hurt Himself: she of course drops what she was doing immediately and runs to comfort her little boy telling Him “I am here”.
As soon as she has this memory, she forgets any sort of horror or fear of the crucifixion taking place and immediately runs to her Son. All she sees is her Son, her beautiful Son and she screams out to Him “I am here!” because that is all she can do.
At the time my own son was 2 years old and I related immediately to Mary as a parent. To imagine anything like this happening to my own son was too much to bear. I suddenly understood her helplessness, her grief and the haunting words spoken to her by Simeon 33 years previously “…and a sword shall pierce your own soul too…” (Luke 2:35)
When I viewed the Stations of the Cross through Mary’s eyes I began to see it from a new perspective – unconditional love of a parent. I asked myself – “What was Mary feeling? What if this was my child?” It brings home the fact of Jesus’ total humanity, as well as His divinity.
If you have not yet had the chance to visit your church and walk around the Stations of the Cross, please try to do so. I would also very much recommend watching ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – but be advised, it is the most moving, realistic depiction of the crucifixion I have ever seen and certainly not for kids. It is available on YouTube.
Thought for the week…
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa
Help me walk along side my loved ones when they suffer.Help me be able to say “I am here” just like your Mother did.
Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.