WOMAN, HERE IS YOUR SON
One of the most touching and significant scenes of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one that describes His Mother witnessing the execution of her beloved Son standing by the cross. Mary, His Mother, remained close to the Lord, keeping Him company, and caring for Him, following His steps and teachings. And there was also Mary, His Mother’s sister, Cleophas’s
wife, Mary Magdalene, and His beloved Disciple John.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, along with the other women and John, the Disciple, witnessed Jesus’ Martyrdom. Which, of course, caused a huge pain in their hearts. Mary must have remembered another scenario when taking the child Jesus in her arms to present Him at the Temple; a righteous and compassionate man, Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit, gave Him his blessing and told Mary “this child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35). The prophecy was fulfilled on Good Friday and Mary then had her heart pierced by pain as sharp as any sword.
In a moment filled with pain, misunderstanding and betrayal, from atop the Cross, Jesus sweetly and prophetically said to His Mother “woman, here is your Son! And rounding out that message of Love, construed by many as His last will, Jesus says to His beloved Disciple "son, there is your Mother!”
As a witness to the immortal Love of the Son to His Mother and the Love of the Mother to her Son the great artist Michelangelo was inspired to create one of the most beautiful artworks in history, the Pieta. A marble sculpture depicting the dead body of Jesus draped across the Virgin Mary’s lap.
In May, we celebrate mothers, the Love only a woman can give. The Virgin Mary is the greatest model of Love to God the Father, her Son Jesus Christ, her husband, St. Joseph, and to His people. Today, I want to respectfully honor all mothers around the world. Let us not forget that even during His most painful moments on the Cross, the Lord continues to behold His Mother’s suffering face and uses His last words to say “woman, here is your son!” With these brief words, Jesus wanted to comfort His mother by telling her that John, His beloved Disciple, was there with her and asking her to accept John as her son. And reciprocally, He looked at John, His faithful and beloved Apostle, and said “son, here is your Mother!” Since then, the Church has recognized and welcomed Mary, Jesus’ Mother, as Our Mother. As represented in John, an Apostle of the Church, we are all Mary’s children by extension.
A mother is happy when her children are fine but suffers when they are not. As a kid, I remember the first things I saw when I woke up were the empty pots and open cans that my mother used to gather the water drops falling through the cardboard roof of the tiny house she used to rent in the tenement where we lived. This simple visual impacts me to this day; it meant that while I slept quietly and peacefully, my poor mother did not. She spent the night preventing water from falling on me and waking me up. My mother watched over me as I dreamed so that I could dream safely of a better life. Such is the love of a mother.
Now I can see the same care and protection in my wife, Sara. How she goes out of her way for every member of our family; the children, grandchildren, daughters-in-law, etc. She is happy when everybody is happy. There are also many mothers who have no biological children and love those whom God has put before them to give them the instinctive love that God has given them since childhood; they so naturally show signs of maternal tenderness toward all those in their care.
I want to take this opportunity to thank every mother who makes and continues to make great sacrifices for her children. If you know that you must apologize for something to your deceased mother, do it faithfully and send her your love, hoping that one day you will meet again, thanks to the Mercy of God. If she still lives, do not let days go by without showing your love for her, notwithstanding the state of your relationship with her.
Finally, I gratefully send my love and hugs to every mother, especially those who have become the 73rd disciple through the I am 73 project, a woman of courage, now Consecrated to Jesus, so that the Blessing of God reaches all in their family, community and the World just like Mary, the Mother of God. A very special greeting to Sara, my wife, and mother of my children, who has shown me with her love that she is a great woman and to my daughter Kyrene, who is about to have her second child. Happy Mother’s Day!
Once again, I thank each of you for all your financial support and the seed you lovingly sow every month by Faith. May God Bless every seed you entrust to us and by Faith may an abundance of good tidings be extended to your home and family. Thank you. Know that like Jesus, we continuously pray for you and yours.
May the Force, Power, and Blessing of the Holy Spirit be poured into your hearts this Pentecost (Sunday, May 28), and the Love of Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Guadalupe always be with you.