Jesus Meets His Mother
The fourth station on the Way of the Cross is where Jesus meets his mother. There is no mention of this in any of the gospels. I wonder why. Then it seems obvious, we know his mother was at the foot of the cross. She must have followed him all the way there.
Jesus has recovered from his fall. He is continuing his final journey, weakened but goaded on by the shouts and blow of his executioners. Then, struggling on, he lifts his head and sees his mother in the crowd. Their eyes meet. What are they thinking?
Mary is there, not by chance, but because she has followed her son. Less than a week ago he was welcomed to Jerusalem by cheering crowds waving palm fronds. Now, a few days later, things have changed completely. Did Mary understand what was happening or was she bewildered by the sudden change? How did she feel, seeing her only son, weak and bleeding, being led to a criminal’s death?
Mothers always seem to feel the pain their children experience. Anybody who has seen a toddler bump his head on a table and cry out in pain will remember the mother scooping him up, wishing to take the pain herself, and soothing the child. That never ends. Mothers continue to watch their children grow and experience the pains of growing. The mother feels their pains. When the child is too old to scoop up and comfort the mother is still there, comforting as best she can. Once a mother always a mother.
Mary must have been confused but I imagine she must have been remembering the prophesy of Simeon when Jesus was taken to the Temple.
You see this child: he is destined for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.
Luke 2: 34, 35