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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Via Dolorosa 4/14...Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

The next few days of Lent, we will contemplate this journey with Jesus, Who “went out, carrying His cross, to the place called “the place of the skull”, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha” (John 19:17).  I humbly pray that the contemplation of these steps of Christ’s journey will speak simply to your heart.

“Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee O Christ, and we praise Thee - Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.”

– The Testament of St. Francis of Assisi – 1182 - 1226

Scriptural Reading:

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, 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 into his home.” (John 19:25-27, NAB)

“When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. ” (John 16:21-22, NAB)

“…Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35, NAB)

Simply Reflect:

O Jesus, your body trembled under the weight of the Cross, you dragged yourself up and continued your journey towards Golgotha; your head still bleeding profusely, your wounds, so bitter mixed with your sweat and dirt.

Then suddenly from the corner of your eye, you caught a glimpse of a familiar face, the motherly face which constantly comforted you, cared for you and ever tenderly pampered you with so much love.  Amidst all the cursing and mocking in the surroundings, both their eyes connected, Jesus and His Mother.

No words were spoken, no words were necessary.  Mother Mary stared tearfully at her once little baby, flesh of her flesh, sorrowfully understood and sadly pondered all these quietly in her heart - her pierced bleeding heart.  Though overwhelmed, Mother Mary was fully united in this journey with her boy to Golgotha…she grieved so much but her heart simply knew that His hour had finally come.

Dear Jesus, in your stare, God’s love came down from heaven.  Time stood still… You looked at us, you searched for us…yet we never even stopped to look back, not even a glance, keeping ourselves a distant from you.  We were too caught up with the rest of the crowd, watching all the action and the commotion…we left you out…alone in the cold.

O Jesus, the unspeakable pain you must have felt when we isolated ourselves from you and merely watched from afar at the whole spectacle of your most painful journey to redeem us.

Quiet Pondering:

My dear Jesus, how sorrowful is the sight of you making your way of the Cross - in obedient silence.  The compassionate gaze and stillness of your Mother brings comfort.  We know we are the cause of such pains and great sufferings by our sinning against you.

During my moments of weakness, why do I so easily succumb to doubts, give in and allow evil to triumph in my life?  Jesus, help me learn from you as you obediently bore the burden of the Cross (my sins) and trusted God the Father…never permit me to separate myself from you.

Mother Mary, teach me to imitate you, and learn that faith is to trust even in the face of God’s apparent silence - Trust God when I am hurting or in pain or do not understand, trust God when I do not know why cancer does not discriminate, the good die young or why good people become terminally sick, why the innocent suffer…  Mother Mary truly loved until it hurts and never ceased to trust God. Mother Mary, pray for us this Lent.

Resolve to imitate Mother Mary’s example of being an obedient and trusting instrument of God, even when experiencing obstacles and challenges in your daily lives…always keep your eyes on Jesus.

Jesus, help me on this journey through Lent. Mother Mary, please pray for me.

“Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the Face.
There, you will see how He loves us.”

- St. Therese of Lisieux

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