A Mother's Passion
(I want to preface this by stating this is pure speculation. A meditation)
"...and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child
is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is
spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that
thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed'" (Luke 2:34-35).
Maybe Mary recalled this as she made her way toward Jerusalem for the
Passover. Maybe she was recalling an earlier journey...
"Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when
the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in
Jerusalem" (Luke 2:41-43).
He said He must be about His Father's work, she recalled. She knew then
that this work entailed more than just teaching, than just performing
miracles. She heard the stories of His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
However, these didn't fill her with joy. She knew public acclamation wasn't
what He was here for. As she drew near to Jerusalem, her heart begins to feel
When she entered Jerusalem, her heart feels the first of many swords. Her
Son is the talk of the town. "Oh you poor souls", she must say to herself.
"How fickle you are. In just one week you rejoice at His coming to you in
triumphant, and now you rejoice at his arrest."
As she listens to the talk, she hears how He has been treated. Temple
guards boasting of how silent He was when they struck Him, pulled His beard
from His face.
" I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the
beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:6).
"They answered, 'He deserves death.' Then they spat in His face, and
struck Him; and some slapped Him, saying, 'Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is
it that struck You?'" (Matthew 26:66-68).
Her heart nears breaking as she hears how Pilate had Him scourged, and
how, somehow, He survived this. So terrible was scourging that it was against
Roman law to scourge a Roman citizen. In fact, most died from the punishment.
Coming to a crowd near the city center, she hears an uproar. Getting
closer, she sees her Son standing beside Pilate. Her beloved Son is so badly
beaten as to be almost unrecognizable. A mockery of kingship. A crown made
of thorns, a scepter made of a reed, a horse's blanket for a 'royal' robe. As
she draws nearer, she hears how Pilate wishes to release Him. She knows this
won't happen. Her heart goes into even greater sorrow.
"… Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, 'If you release
this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets
himself against Caesar.' When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out
and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in
Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was
about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, 'Behold your King!' They cried
out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall
I crucify your King?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but
Caesar.' Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified" (John 19: 12-16).
Her heart sinks further. Not only for her Son, but also for these, her
other sons and daughters. She hears the rumor that one of her Son's
followers, the one who betrayed Him, has committed suicide. "Oh my little
one, why did you despair of the mercy of God?" She is near tears to think of
a lost soul.
Making her way through the crowds, she finally reaches the way her Son will
come. Seeing Him she approaches. For some reason, the Romans do not stop
her. She looks at her Son. Tears begin to well up in her eyes. There are no
words, none are needed. She comforts Him as best she can. As a mother she is
near death in sorrow. As a daughter, she is overjoyed as to their approaching
deliverance. She tries to give Him what strength she can for the rest of His
She follows Him on His way to execution. Along the way, she is met by His
Apostle John. John holds her up, comforts her. Lends his support. As she
leaves the city, she sees the Romans raise her Son high over the earth. The
Lamb of God is sacrificed for His people, here for all the world to see and
"Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and
touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin;…
and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD
will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses
to slay you" (Exodus 12:22; 23). The wetting of the lintel and two door posts
forms a cross.
Mary watches in the greatest sorrow as even in death, her Son is abused.
Not content with His death, she watches as a soldier thrusts his spear point
into His side and water and blood spill out. (Plasma and whole blood). As
the spear enters His side, she feels it enter hers.
Finally, He is removed from the cross. Her sorrow is beyond measure.
She watched each step of the way with Him. Felt every blow, every spit, every
fall, every nail, every lance.
"O Lord, in Whose passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of
sorrow pierced the sweet soul of Mary, mother and virgin, grant, that by the
glorious merits and prayers of all the saints who stood faithfully by the
cross, we may experience the happy effects of Thy passion. Who livest and
reignest forever and ever. Amen" (Prayer in Honor of Our Sorrowful Mother)
On the morning of the third day, a curious thing.
"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him. And
very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had
risen" (Mark 16:1-2).
Where was Mary His mother? Surely she would go with them to anoint her
son? Surely she would want to make sure He was properly anointed and for one
last look. Where was Mary?
There is no need for he to be there. She knows He is not there. No angel
need tell her, no one need tell her the body is gone. She knows.
"Queen of heaven, Rejoice, Alleluia.
For He Whom thou didst deserve to bear, Alleluia
Has risen as he said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary!
Because our Lord is truly risen, Alleluia.
O God, Who by the resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has
vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through
the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may attain the joys of
eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen."
Happy Easter. May the peace of Christ, that only He can give, be with you all
and yours. Now and forever.