Jesus … said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
In these words from the cross, “Woman, here is your son,” and, “Here is your mother,” Jesus was saying his final goodbye to Mary, his mother.
Of course, it was not the first time Jesus had said goodbye to his family. Three years earlier, when John the Baptist was preaching in the desert, Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave Joseph’s carpenter shop and begin his public ministry of teaching and healing.
Things were never quite the same after that. From that time on, Mary was only able to love her son from a distance: on the edge of a crowd, outside a packed house, at the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Maybe she was even there when Jesus taught, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).
But in his final hours, Jesus was deeply concerned for his mother’s well-being. She was most likely a widow by this time (see Mark 3:20-21, 31), and Jesus was entrusting her to the care of one of his closest friends: John. From that time on, John cared for Mary as a member of his own household.
Thank you, God, for the special love and care Jesus had for Mary, his mother. Even in his darkest moments, he was obeying your word to honor one’s parents. Amen.
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