“Standing by the cross of Jesus (was) his mother…”

Mary stood. She remained and did not flee. She did not turn away from the most heartbreaking moment of her life (and she had experienced many heartbreaking moments), but stood near her Son, united with her Son, offering her Son. Mary at the foot of the Cross is all pain and prayer.

At the Annunciation, she had said YES to the Lord, even though she could not see all the details that assent included. She said YES, she meant it, and she never drew back from it, even when it was difficult and confusing and heartbreaking. She remained always the woman of faith and hope and love, who encountered the Word, accepted it, assented to it, and never wavered, all the way to Calvary and beyond.

She remained firm in every difficult circumstance: the cold poverty into which she first welcomed the Infant Word into the world, the unexpected flight into a foreign and pagan land to save his life, the daily dust and toil of life, the loss of her son for three days when he was 12, the hidden pains and prayers of motherhood, the separation from him as he left the home she had made for him to embrace the mission the Father had given him, the enemies who plotted to trap him and have him killed, his agony and death at their hands, preparing his lifeless body for the tomb.

Her whole life of joy and sorrow is summed up in her words at the Annunciation: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). From the Cross, Jesus speaks these words to her: “Woman, behold your son.” According to that word, we are all her children.

Mary surrendered all to the Lord, even her beloved Son, because she understood that this was the will of God, and being sinless, her whole being was uniquely open and responsive to the will of God. As a mother to each of us, her motherly Heart desires to lead us to the Heart of her Son, the Source of all that is good and true and beautiful, the Source of salvation and eternal joy. Her heart’s sorrow is that not all respond to the love of her Son. Let us allow her to mother us into the arms of Jesus, and into eternity with Him.

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“…junto a la cruz de Jesús [estaba] su madre…”

María se puso de pie. Ella se quedó y no huyó. No se alejó del momento más desgarrador de su vida (y había vivido muchos momentos desgarradores), sino que estuvo cerca de su Hijo, unida a su Hijo, ofreciéndo a su Hijo. María al pie de la Cruz es todo dolor y oración.

En la Anunciación, ella había dicho SÍ al Señor, aunque no podía ver todos los detalles que incluía ese asentimiento. Ella dijo SÍ, lo decía en serio, y nunca retrocedió, incluso cuando era difícil, confuso y desgarrador. Ella permaneció siempre como una mujer de fe, esperanza y amor, que encontró la Palabra, la aceptó, la asintió y nunca vaciló, hasta el Calvario y más allá.

Ella se mantuvo firme en cada circunstancia difícil: la fría pobreza en la que acogió por primera vez al mundo al Niño Verbo, la huida inesperada a una tierra extraña y pagana para salvar su vida, el polvo y el trabajo cotidianos de la vida, la pérdida de su hijo durante tres días cuando tenía 12 años, los dolores ocultos y las oraciones de la maternidad, la separación de él al dejar el hogar que ella le había hecho para acoger la misión que el Padre le había encomendado, los enemigos que conspiraban para atraparlo y matarlo, su agonía y muerte a manos de ellos, preparando su cuerpo sin vida para el sepulcro.

Toda su vida de alegrías y tristezas se resume en sus palabras en la Anunciación: “Soy la esclava del Señor. Hágase en mí según tu palabra” (Lucas 1:38). Desde la Cruz, Jesús le dirige estas palabras: “Mujer, ahí está tu hijo”. Según esa palabra, todos somos sus hijos.

María entregó todo al Señor, incluso a su amado Hijo, porque entendió que eso era la voluntad de Dios y, al estar sin pecado, todo su ser estaba excepcionalmente abierto y receptivo a la voluntad de Dios. Como una madre para cada uno de nosotros, su Corazón materno desea conducirnos al Corazón de su Hijo, la Fuente de todo lo que es bueno, verdadero y hermoso, la Fuente de la salvación y la alegría eterna. El dolor de su corazón es que no todos responden al amor de su Hijo. Permitámosle que nos lleve a los brazos de Jesús y a la eternidad con Él.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and four grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is www.KathrynTherese.com

Feature Image Credit: Christian Gutiérrez, LC, www.cathopic.com/photo/11315-pietagrave;-michelangelo-

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