Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
(This post is part of a Lenten series on praying the Stations of the Cross - a devotional practice that is said to have started with Mary after the death and resurrection of Jesus. To start at the beginning, see the overview provided on March 5, 2023, and then go from there!)
From the beginning of her journey as a mother to this bitter end, Mary was always alone in some ways. Hearing the message of the angel at the Annunciation, outcast in a stable at the time of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, fleeing to Egypt as a refugee, and knowing all along of this painful moment to come (“a sword will pierce your own soul”) – Mary had carried and cared for the physical body of God, and she was here at the cross as he passed back to Spirit, watching her son’s brutal murder. What a rough road of motherhood.
Mary was also never alone. Jesus had a deep connection with his earthly mother who had attended so faithfully to his needs throughout his time in a human body, and he attended faithfully and tenderly to her needs in this moment. He knew she had loved him well, as had his disciple John - this was evident in that they were both with him at the time of his death (along with the other Marys) - and he knew they could love one another well. He facilitated connection and care, as he loves to do. These types of relationships matter to God.
Where is Christ asking me to see and care for those who have served him faithfully? Do I see those who have poured themselves out, like Mary, to follow Christ’s call of love and surrender? Do I trust that Jesus will provide for me too if I give him my all, as Mary did? He is our true security, and he always provides.
A note about mindfulness
Receiving care requires us to show up and stay present for the long haul like Mary did, even when the going gets tough. Mindfulness is a practice that helps us to be present. This allows us to enter into the connections created for us by God. He never leaves us alone or forsaken.
(For a list of mindfulness practices that help you stay present to God and open to connections with those God puts in your circles, check out the Guides for Practice available here.)
Image Credit: Cathedral of St. Andrew
Artist: Suzanne Young
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I am Irene Kraegel. I am licensed as a clinical psychologist and teach mindfulness on a faith-based university campus. I practice mindfulness because it opens me up to God (a.k.a. brings joy). I am writing here in hopes of sharing some of my experiences and thoughts related to the practice of mindfulness in the life of a Christian. Thanks for reading!
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