Mary’s Heart

As a Mother myself, my heart goes out to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  I can’t imagine watching my child suffer the torture that Jesus endured, yet the Bible tells us that Mary followed; she watched His suffering, all of it, even though there was nothing she could do to stop it or even alleviate it.  I know how much I hurt when my children are hurting, I see Mary, as any Momma, concerned for her child, agonizing with and for him, and wanting to eliminate anything bad that touches her child.

What must she have been thinking and feeling as she followed Jesus down His road of suffering?  Did she find clarity as her mind replayed all those events that the Bible says she treasured in her heart?  Did all the prophetic words she heard, but did not understand—all the words of blessing spoken over her and her son—the words spoken by Jesus to her, his Mother, did it all come rushing back to her heart and mind as she watched Him suffer and die?

As she followed Jesus down the streets of Jerusalem, did she compare her journey to the one she and Joseph traveled in order to protect Him from a wicked king who sought to destroy his life?

When He fell under the weight of His own cross, I wonder if Simeon’s words came to her mind? “...destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel…”    

As the voices of the crowd rose in mockery while her beloved son hung in shame; “… a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed”

and when the soldier pierced Jesus’ side, and blood and water poured out, did Simeon’s prophetic words “—and a sword will pierce your own soul” echo in her mind?

The great loss she felt at that moment must have reminded her of another time she thought she had lost him, and later found him in the synagogue teaching the teachers. Surely His words reverberated through her mind,  “didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?”  When He cried out “It is Finished” and breathed His last breath, did she remember and long for the answer He gave her in Cana before He performed His first miracle; “My time has not yet come“.

Can’t you just see the flood of memories that replayed as she watched Joseph of Arimethea wrap and bury her son?  Did her memory take her back to Bethlehem where she first saw her son wrapped in cloths and laid in the manger?

Then, on the third day, at daybreak, when she, Mary Magdalene and Salome went to the tomb to anoint His body, and found the stone rolled away, did her mind flash back to just a few days prior, when Jesus had ordered that the stone be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, and that He be unwrapped?  I imagine the memory of His words that day “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” became less a memory, and more relevant now than ever, at the sight of his neatly folded grave clothes in an otherwise empty tomb.

4 comments on “Mary’s Heart

  1. Thank you SR. I was awestruck on Sunday when I read in the responsorial readings that Joseph took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen cloth and laid him in the cave.

    I saw Mary, at that point, watching and reflecting on the first time she saw him wrapped in cloths and laid in the manger…the rest came after meditating on the accounts of His passion and death.


  2. Last night I watched The Passion of the Christ, as part of a reflection on the Palm Sunday readings and in preparation for this week. It is a hard thing to watch, but this movie made Mary a real person to me. Your post called the film to mind, with its going back and forth between memory and event.
    It is a beautiful post.

    • Thanks, Kat. My husband suggested I watch the Passion before posting, but I wanted to get my own thoughts down first. That movie is on my list of things to watch this week.

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