For mothers on Good Friday
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” John 19:25b-28 NRSV
Of course you are thirsty my darling boy.
And I watch helpless.
How I wish I could touch you and hold you in your agony.
My mothers heart is breaking as I watch you struggle.
I am so proud of you.
You have held onto your dignity in the midst of this horror.
Oh my darling boy, why did it have to come to this?
Why couldn’t they just listen and learn?
You have been teaching in words and in action about God’s loving heart,
But instead they do this to you.
My heart is breaking,
I want to reach up with a cup of cool water,
Hold it to your lips,
Let you have some comfort in your pain.
We have been through so much, you and I.
That day the angel came to me,
I wondered if anyone would believe me.
Who was I that God chose me?
Just a young girl, a no body.
You made me a somebody.
They will paint me as saintly, demure
Probably wearing blue.
Ha! If only.
You know how I can yell,
You have heard the rough side of my tongue.
You and your brothers led me a merry dance as youngsters.
Kids will be kids, Jospeh would tell me.
But what you dad never got was that
You, you my dear boy were precious.
We had to keep you safe.
Life was hard when you were growing up.
Money could be tight but Joseph
Worked hard in that workshop of his.
Your dad made sure there was always
bread on the table and wine in our cups.
I was so proud when you said you wanted to learn his trade.
Your dad was proud.
He never complained about providing for you,
I would see him glancing at you,
His eyes full of love.
You were his but not his.
And he never resented you or God’s imposition.
Secretly, I think he was proud to have been chosen as your father figure.
I miss him.
I miss his warmth,
I am not sure what he would say about all of this
I rather fear he would have fought them,
Tried to take the cross form you….for you.
Certainly he would shimmy up that cross right now and give you the drink
You so desperately want.
Oh Jesus, my darling boy,
I wish I could reach you, touch you one more time.
You have been in many scrapes but this….this…
Do you remember when you were just a lad,
And we took you to Jerusalem?
That was for the Passover too….
You went missing, the wee monkey you were!
Three days…three days it took to find you!
Why we didn’t think to look in the Temple I don’t know,
But there you were, quite the thing.
And you had them lapping up your every word.
Why this time they couldn’t have listened, I don’t know.
Some of those same faces, I recognise them
All these years later.
Admiration turned to hate and jealousy.
Of course, your words weren’t always quite so gentle,
I still smart at the way you spoke to me at that wedding.
I was only trying to help.
Nudge you along.
I sensed a chance for you to begin to show everyone
How special you were.
And well you showed them.
That was some wedding
And the wine…well it was the best I have ever tasted.
Please wont someone give him a drink…
My darling boy,
Know that I am proud of you,
So very proud.
I will try and be strong, I will.
I have the two Mary’s to look after me
And of course, your beloved friend will provide for us.
Oh, that I could take this away from you.
Ah here is someone at last,
Although I am not sure that sponge is very clean,
And that wine looks sour….
Listen to me mithering on…
My darling, darling boy.
I love you so very much.
My heart is breaking,
I can’t bear to watch
I can’t bear to leave.
Oh Jesus, why this way?
Why God, why?
Good Friday Mary Mother of Jesus watches
1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
Luke 23:44-48 The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land[a] until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed;[b] and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”[c] 48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts.
Oh God! No….not my boy… I can’t bear this…
I don’t want to bear this…
And yet I must.
My heart is broken.
I have known for a long time it would come to this. I had tried to warn Jesus. To get him to temper his words, not to wind the religious men up. And all I would get was that look.
The look that told me he knew what he was doing. The look that also told me I wasn’t to worry – all would be well.
But it isn’t well. He is gone. My boy, my life…gone. And hanging there like some criminal.
And that is how they have treated him – a criminal – all these people shouting for his death and now beating their breasts… how could they not see what was so obvious? He was a good man, sent by God. Doing God’s will…demonstrating for all to see what a Godly life looked like – living out the commandment to love.
But instead they got carried along with the lies of the religious. He showed them up and they hated him for it. They set out to trap him and made out he was some kind of threat to the rulers. Couldn’t they see that he was trying to show them what God wanted? God doesn’t insist on the rules and regulations of religion – he doesn’t want people to live in fear of breaking the rules. God wants us to love. Love doesn’t do any wrong. A life lived loving others is a life of freedom, a life of hope, a life of joy, a life of peace. Everything Jesus demonstrated.
But no – my boy showed them up – and hate hung him up on that cross. Hate has torn my heart in two.
But I won’t let their hate win.
My boy, my darling boy even in his last breath still showed his true character. Those last words…’Father into your hands I commit my spirit.’
He trusted God. Despite all he had been through He trusted God.
And that is what I must do now.
I remember all those people who trusted Jesus and my heart swells at the memories.
Jairus and his little girl.
The woman healed of her bleeding. Her bravery and trust healed her.
The lame man, I can’t remember his name, the one whose friends went to all that bother to lower him into that house and he was able to walk out through the door. But of course that upset the religious.
And then there was the woman at the well. Her burdens were hidden but Jesus made her whole again – gave her a purpose. Sent her to tell others who she had met. That of course broke more rules.
He helped so many people – each time restoring them.
Jesus broke so many rules. But he never showed any signs of regret. Each time he would just give me that look. He knew what he was doing. I wasn’t to worry.
Even now I have a feeling I am not to worry. But I do wonder what will happen to us all now. I look around and see the despair of the faces of his friends. What now? They have all been like children to me these last few years. One big family. And we have picked up some waifs and strays along the way. I look at the other Mary – someone else who Jesus restored. Her devotion to my boy is plain to see. Her heart is broken too. I must make sure she stays with us.
And Peter – oh my poor Peter. He looks so lost and I could be wrong but he seems to blame himself for this. Peter, so vocal and strong in his support. He has nothing to feel guilty about.
And James and John – maybe they will stop bickering now. Maybe this will bring them together.
I am not sure where Judas has gone – he hasn’t been seen since last night. The others said they saw him in the garden with Jesus when they came to arrest him. I do hope he is ok.
Oh, Lord, why this way? Why all this pain?
What we all do now? What are we meant to do now? I want my boy to at least have a decent burial. It is the very least we can do for now. The other women will help me – that’s our job. To give my darling boy some dignity.
And we will have to trust that it will be ok. That’s what Jesus meant in those last words. He trusted God and we must trust God now. I am going to take those last words of Jesus and own them, and live them. I will not let hate have the last word. He knew what he was doing. I am not to worry.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. Amen