Walking with Mary to the Cross Series-11

11 – Mary holds her son taken down from the cross – Mary, mighty warrior

Words do not help us in a time of death; they seem to be foreign in our offering of consolation or sympathy. Mary would have received Jesus’ body into her arms with such angst – ‘what have they done to him’ her heart would echo. His body torn and twisted, bloody and beat up no longer resonated and throbbed with pain; it lay lifeless, worn out, used up. She would have no words but likely tears; any mother holding a lifeless son would have many tears. It is hard to realize she was prepared for this – so long ago knowing the day would come – yet no comfort could be seen.

We all have deaths of loved ones we can recall – family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. This morning at Mass our Priest announced the death of a man, George, who would sit in front of me at daily Mass. He was there last Friday – all week he sat in front of me. On Sunday he was killed in an auto accident. One thing stood out about him for many of us. When we would offer our prayer intentions, he would say very loudly “FOR THE POOR SOULS IN PURGATORY.” Father told us he started saying that after his wife died 14 years ago. I wonder how many of those souls were there to greet George as he left this world. I can’t imagine anything less than a grand scale reception from all he prayed for. And he will be ever remembered in my prayers as well.

Joseph, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene the disciple John and likely other followers were there to help receive Jesus’ body. They carefully took off the crown of thorns; they wrapped his arms in bands to lower him into Mary’s lap. They would see the wounds that came from his side in which his divine mercy would flow. They knew this was the Lord – son of the most high God. They knew he was the fulfillment of Scripture. Their hearts were full of love yet were broken. Every year we go into the Lord’s passion with our hearts broken by our sinfulness. We remember the details on Palm Sunday as we read how he was condemned and dies. We walk the stations of the cross to remind us how hard it was to walk to Calvary – for him to take on our sins so that we could be reunited with the Father. Are we grateful? Do we realize the caliber of what he has done for us? Likely not. It is huge to take in and we are so weak.

I hear people say, it’s been a good lent/ it’s been a weird/bad lent. The question I pose is, did this Lent make you sit up and take notice of something within yourself that our Lord brings to your attention? How did it affect your habits of spending, eating, exercising, thinking, doing? Taking things off your plate or adding them to it for six weeks makes a difference. Today’s Gospel struck me “He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” No matter what we gave up, did extra or let go of, if we do not believe in Jesus as the son of God who came to save us, it was all in vain and we will have no life in heaven. There will be no free passes. His coming was for a specific purpose – his death was for us to know how real it was … and is. There was no mediocrity in his time on earth. Which is why you can’t just accept Jesus, we can’t be lukewarm; we have to be ready without a doubt and desire for everyone else to be as well.

As our sorrowful Mother holds her son, I think no longer of her as sorrowful but more mighty. Mighty and strong while holding her son, knowing he will come again and now things will be different. They will not do to him any more harm – he will only bring them the power and grace needed to continue his work. George is gone, but we remember to pray for the poor souls in purgatory – and we will think of George as well. George prepared to go – recognizing we don’t know when we will be called – or how – but that God’s plan is to bring us home to him at some point. He brought his son home and placed that beaconing in our hearts too. Will you be ready when he calls you home? Isn’t that what lent was about – preparing for the great celebration?

Photos Credit: Public domain
File: Stylianos Stavrakis Descent from the Cross.png. Created: between 1729 and 1786 and
original file by Stanislav Traykov – File:Michelangelo’s Pieta 5450 cropncleaned edit-2.jpg

About Cathy Trowbridge

A faith-led people-person, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother and friend, I am a Catholic Christian striving to union with our Lord. I hope to bring you encouragement to live a closer relationship with Christ, discerning direction in the path to Him, with Him and in Him.
This entry was posted in My Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s