Tuesday, September 13, 2011

for Thursday (September 15) Gospel: standing by the cross of Jesus

Scripture: John 19:25-27 (alternate reading: Luke 7:31-35) But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Does suffering or sorrow weigh you down?

The cross brings us face to face with Jesus' suffering. 

 He was alone. All his disciples had deserted him except for his mother and three women along with John, the beloved disciple. 

 The apostles had fled in fear.

 But Mary, the mother of Jesus and three other women who loved him were present at the cross. 

They demonstrate the power of love for overcoming fear (1 John 4:18). At the beginning of Jesus' birth, when he was presented in the temple, Simeon had predicted that Mary would suffer greatly – a sword will pierce through your own soul (see Luke 2:33-35).

 Many have called Mary a martyr in spirit. Bernard of Clairvaux said: Jesus "died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his."

 Mary did not despair in her sorrow and loss, since her faith and hope were sustained by her trust in God and the love she had for her Son.

 Jesus, in his grief and suffering, did not forget his mother.

 He entrusted her care to John, as well as John to her. No loss, no suffering can keep us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

 Paul the Apostle says that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:3).

 We can find no greater proof of God's love for us than the willing sacrifice of his Son on the cross.

 Do you know the love that enables you to bear your cross and to endure trial and difficulties with faith and hope in God?

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