Mary under the Cross
Lament under the Cross by Lucas Cranach (detail), 1503
The Gospel of John tells us that Mary his mother and her sister as well as Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene and his beloved disciple, were all at within sight of the cross, as Jesus breathed his last. What a trauma this must have been for those who loved him so deeply.
But with an eye to the future, Jesus put Mary into the care of the beloved disciple. In bereavement life has to go on. Mary and the disciple who tradition usually identifies as John, stay together and console each other.
If you have suffered trauma or bereavement who helped you live through it?
Or if you feel alone, is there someone who you could reach out to?
Preparation: Begin by stilling; then dedicating the time of prayer to God and asking God that all you think, feel and imagine are for the glory of God.
Gift: Ask for what you desire. You may wish to appreciate the love shown by Jesus to those who love him most, or how much he is willing to suffer for you and the rest of humankind.
Setting: Imagine you are a character in this story, one of the women, the disciple or a bystander.
See the scene from this person’s point of view. How do you feel?
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby,
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 to his own home.
Conversation: When you have finished imagining the scene and you have spent time in quiet contemplation, take a little time to talk to Jesus, Mary or John as a friend about whatever comes to you. Imagine how they might reply.
Final Prayer: End with a formal prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father or Hail Mary.
Music: Patrick Dwyer sings verses from the Stabat Mater, At the Cross her Station Keeping