Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. John 19:25
Again, today, we look at this most sacred scene of the Mother of Jesus standing at the foot of the Cross. Note that John’s Gospel says she was “standing.”
There is little doubt that the human emotion Mother Mary felt was extreme and intense. Her heart was broken and pierced as she gazed upon her dear Son hanging upon the Cross. But as she gazed upon Him, she stood.
The fact that she stood is significant. It is a small and subtle way by which this Gospel passage depicts her strength in the midst of great personal pain. Nothing could be more devastating than for her to witness such brutality toward the one whom she loved with her whole heart. Yet, in the midst of this excruciating pain, she did not give in to her grief or fall into despair. She stood, with the utmost strength, faithfully fulfilling a mother’s love until the end.
Our Blessed Mother’s strength at the foot of the Cross is rooted in a heart that is immaculate in every way. Her heart was immaculate in love, perfectly strong, perfectly faithful, unwavering in determination, and imbued with unfailing hope in the midst of earthly chaos. From the perspective of the world, the greatest tragedy possible was befalling her Son. But from the perspective of Heaven, she was being invited at the same moment to manifest the pure love of her Immaculate Heart.
Only a heart that loved with perfection could be so strong. The hope, in particular, that would have been alive within her heart was awe-inspiring and glorious. How does one have hope and strength like this in the face of such pain? There is only one way and it is the way of love. The pure and holy love in the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother was perfect.
Reflect, today, upon the strength of the heart of our Blessed Mother. Gaze upon the love she had for her Son and allow yourself to be drawn into awe of this pure and holy love. When you find pain in your life to be intense and overwhelming, remember the love in the Heart of this mother. Pray that her heart will inspire yours and that her strength will become your strength as you seek to face the crosses and hardships of life.
My most loving Mother, draw me into the purity and strength of your heart. You stood at the foot of the Cross, gazing upon your Son as He was so cruelly treated. Invite me into your heart of perfect love, so that I may be inspired by you and strengthened by your glorious witness.
My dear Mother, as you stood at the foot of the Cross, you set an example for all people. There is no better place to be than the foot of the Cross. Help me to never turn away from the Cross, hiding in fear, pain or despair. Free me from my weakness and pray for me that I may imitate the strength of the love of your heart.
Precious Lord, as You hung upon the Cross, You allowed the love of Your Heart to unite with the heart of Your mother. Invite me into this shared love, so that I may also be united with You in Your pain and suffering. May I never take my eyes off of You, dear Lord.
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