The Fourth Station: Jesus is Met By His Mother
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 the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2: 33-35)
It is now, while Jesus is on the ground, that He meets His mother. She has quietly been holding vigil throughout the night as her Son’s torture unfolded. Now as He finally collapses, she appears from among the onlookers. Without saying a word—and at unimaginable cost—she urges Him on. Her look conveys both anguish and encouragement. Jesus struggles to His feet and stands, His eyes trained on Mary. “Look, Mom, I am okay.” Their silent exchange strengthens them both.
Jesus, what a comfort it must have been to see Your mother on Your way to Calvary. She was the only one who had no part in Your agony; she alone had committed no sins that bound You to the cross. When Mary said yes to her role in Your life, she did not know exactly how it would play out. She did know, even from the time of conception and the circumstances of her pregnancy, that she would not be spared suffering. Did she imagine that the cross You carry now would be a part of Your mission as the Messiah? Was her faith tested when she saw You there on the road, beaten, abused, and condemned? Simeon’s prophesy must have resounded in her heart. As mothers, watching our children suffer is sometimes even more painful for us than it is for them. Mary’s pain must have been excruciating; she knew not only her Son’s absolute innocence but also His compassionate love for the very men who were killing him. I will not be able to anticipate all of the turns and crosses that my children will face. Remind me to go to Mary when I have to witness my children suffer.
Points to consider:
How can I imitate Mary as my own children search for and pursue their vocations?
Are my own generosity and faith a comfort and strength to them in their struggles?
Do I accompany them with my own prayers and sacrifices for their intentions and faithfulness?
How can I better embrace the vulnerability that I invariably have as a mother?
She knew that this little son of hers was God’s Son and that God had not given Him to her for herself alone but for the whole world. Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God