The Third Word – “Woman, behold your son. Behold, your mother.”

imgresSometimes we have difficulty appreciating the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is a quiet, obedient figure who does not draw attention to herself. However, as Jesus tells us, the least shall be greatest. Mary’s last recorded words in the Gospel sum it all up for each of us, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

It sounds so simple – do what He tells you. However, day in and day out we do what we tell ourselves: get angry, be selfish, put yourself first. That is so different from the life of Our Lady.

Mary did not have an easy life. She had to live with prophecies of doom (Simeon at the Temple), miracles (virgin birth), a missing child (3 days in the Temple) and rejection (Jesus seemed to ignore her repeatedly – who are my mother and brothers; woman, my time has not yet come) She never made an angry scene. We have no record of her whining and complaining. She did not forbid Him to preach, or manipulate Him by telling Him she could not handle it. She accepted her Son, she accepted His vocation, she allowed other people to have Him during His time of ministry. But in the end, when everyone else had deserted Him, she was there.

How did she feel when the men and women closest to Jesus fled when the going got tough? Was she disappointed in them and their fears? Did she shake them to their senses and force them to fight for her son? Support her son? Help her son? No. She was with them Easter morning. She was with them in the upper room. She was present at the first Pentecost. She stayed to both console them and be consoled by them.

How did the disciples feel when Mary looked at them? Embarrassed? Ashamed? She had been at the foot of the cross. They hid as cowards. In her quiet way she continued to lead them during the times of emptiness, the times she had already learned were inevitable. She was their mother, as she is our mother.

Mary is eternally obedient. She did not concentrate on finding herself and pleasing herself. She concentrated on finding God and pleasing God. We should joyfully follow her example.

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