The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple 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. After this, knowing that all was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” A bowl of common wine was nearby. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a hyssop sprig and put it up to His mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, He said, “It is finished.” He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:26-30)
Jesus has been on the cross for three hours now. He no longer is able to raise Himself to get air. Most of the onlookers have lost interest and gone home. Only Mary and John and a few of Mary’s companions are left. Straining for the words, He surrenders the last thing He can, “Behold your mother.” Now He is ready to accomplish His purpose. He abandons himself into the loving care of His Father and breathes His last. Jesus dies. He has conquered sin by taking on the guilt of the world and making a reparation for which we were not capable. With Jesus’ death, Mary takes on a new role in her motherhood. Now she will serve as the mother of us all, capable of bringing all of our needs to her Son.
It is over. Jesus, Your final act on this earth was to give us Your Mother. From the cross, when You could physically do no more, You left us with the most precious person in Your life. Mary, help me to be the mother you were to Jesus, that you are to me, to my children. So often I get too focused on the physical needs that I provide for my children, even to the detriment of their souls. Help me to realize the critical role that I play in their emotional and spiritual needs and growth. I know that if I treat you as the mother that you are, I can only become a better mother myself. Mary, when you could no longer do anything physically for Jesus, what a huge comfort it must have been to Him to know that you were willing to be a mother to the whole world forever. Do not let me take that willingness for granted. Help me to see that my motherhood is not limited to my own biological children; I can be a mother to any whom you put into my life. Magnify my heart so that I can nurture and comfort, instruct and feed, and guide and encourage many spiritual children.
Do I take comfort in the crucifix when I am suffering, knowing that when I unite my pain to Christ’s on the cross, I can win grace for myself, my husband, and my children?
Do I have a crucifix that I can use to remind me to offer any pain or struggle for grace?
When I am tempted to give in to frustration with my sins and weaknesses, do I remember that Christ has won the battle for me as long as I keep struggling to improve, to love a little more each day?
Do I go to Mary often, many times a day, for patience and strength to be the mother I should be?
Do I teach my children to go to Mary often?
Most Holy Sacred Heart of Jesus, help my heart to persevere in all that is holy. Saint Rita of Cascia, mother