By Roxann Storms
Pastoral assistant, Holy Spirit Parish, St. Cloud;
and Franciscan Sister Maureen Kelly, Little Falls
“My son. My beloved child!” What anguished cries were wrenched from Mary’s sorrowful heart, a heart Simeon foretold would be “pierced by a sword,” as she beheld her precious son on his walk to Calvary? Her own cross of Calvary was to see his suffering, his humiliation and to feel his pain. Some had deserted him in his time of need: some disciples, friends — nowhere to be seen. Maybe they were afraid or felt helpless in what to say or do. But Mary was there, walking alongside him, coming to meet him, being with him on his painful journey.
With a mother’s enduring love, she would have gladly taken the cross from his scourged shoulders, but she was powerless to relieve Jesus of this terrible burden. Her heartbroken inability to take away his pain, to “fix it and make it better,” left only the ability to embrace it with him, to offer compassion. And Jesus offered his mother the privilege of being with him in his time of human weakness and suffering. When they gazed at each other, no words were needed or sufficient; in this time of deepest grief, the shared experience and the sacred gift of presence were enough.
Dear Mary, help us to follow your courageous example that when we are present to those who are hurting, sad or lonely, we are honoring your sacrificial son, our Lord. Hail Mary, full of grace …