“The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘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 a sword will pierce your own soul too.’” Luke 2:33-35
What kind of reaction was Mary supposed to have, being told that the fate of her son was to be a sign that would be opposed? That he was destined for the rising and falling of many, and that a sword would pierce her own soul? A prophecy so dark and foreboding would strike fear into the hearts of most, but not Our Lady, she is faithful.
Instead of being afraid or worried, Mary took these portents and pondered them in her heart. She remained faithful even as she witnessed her son suffer the most excruciating death the Romans could conceive of, and even as the sword of this great sorrow pierced her heart.
Since it is Good Friday, it is important to contemplate our place in the Passion. If we don’t, it will be difficult not to treat this Friday like any other. But the fact of the matter is that today is unlike any other day based on Christ’s own words to us.
One of the last things Christ says from the cross is his entrustment of us to his mother,
“Woman behold your son.” Then to the disciple, “Behold your mother” (John 19:27).
As our mother, Mary wants nothing more than for us to know her son and his great love for us, especially as it is revealed on the cross. What better place is there to look upon the Savior and contemplate the mystery of his love than from the foot of the cross, alongside his own mother?
As Saint John Paul II explains:
"The divine Redeemer wished to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of His holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed. As though by a continuation of that motherhood which by the power of the Holy Spirit had given him life, the dying Christ conferred upon the ever Virgin Mary a new kind of motherhood- spiritual and universal- toward all human beings, so that every individual, during the pilgrimage of faith, might remain, together with her, closely united to him unto the cross, and so that every form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this cross, should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God." (Salvific Doloris, 26)
As the mother of all, Mary is an image of the whole Church. At the Annunciation she opened herself completely to God - receiving the Holy Spirit as her spouse, and Christ into her womb. As a Church we are called to imitate Mary by opening ourselves up completely to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and to receive Christ through Eucharist into our hearts. There can be no question that the cross is the greatest expression of love and mercy ever. As such, we must actively receive that love and that mercy into our hearts. As you pray today, consider kneeling at the foot of the cross, next to Our Lady and meditate upon the paschal mystery with her. Ask her to teach you how to fully give of yourself as she did, and how to fully receive the great gift of the divine mercy of her son, by the cross. Mary’s Immaculate Heart never closes itself to those who believe and petition. If you ask her, she will answer.
Core Team- Communications Coordinator
Saint Dominic Young Adults
This is a peer run blog for the Saint Dominic Young Adults in Washington, D.C.