Archive for April 2nd, 2021

This Holy Week from Palm Sunday to the following (Easter) Sunday I am contemplating how it is a week of preparation and prophesy fulfilled, a pendulum-shifting drama that swings from joy, to sorrow then to an even greater, impossible triumph.

As this Holy Week has progressed, I have found my heart and mind to be asking three questions:

  • how did the disciples not know what was going to happen as they ate with Jesus?
  • what if I were there?
  • what happened to open the eyes of those who met him on the road?

I need to admit that if I were there, in the time and place of the crucifixion,

I wouldn’t be there!

There is nothing within me that could imagine a reason for choosing to watch a trial (with the potential for a corporal punishment), view another human being carry what would be their cross up a roadway full of angry people spewing vile words and spit, or watch that same human nailed to the cross where he would live out his final hours in agony.

I just wouldn’t be there!

But … when I read the story, I do insert my heart into it.

One thing that I ask myself, consciously or not, when I watch a story enfold (true or fiction), is what character can I most connect or associate with? Once I can associate with someone in the story, then I am there, in the words and drama that enfolds.

The events of Holy Week are always digested in my mind and heart through the person of his mother, Mary.

Her appearance in the accounts of this week is at the foot of the cross.

Each of the four Gospels mention her presence by name, Luke is presumed to include her when he wrote, “and all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things” (Luke 23:40).

She was there … there at the foot of the cross, looking up at Jesus, her son … her child.

As a mom, reading the accounts of what happened to him, I feel emotionally gutted. To try to imagine a mom observing the torturous, stretched-out death of one who had grown inside of you, who you’d nourished at your breast, who you’d cared for, loved and protected … well, I really don’t want to imagine it. But, when I read the accounts of what happed I cannot help but associate with Mary, his mother. I cannot help but mourn for her … for what she would have to see, and hear, and know.

She saw that sign (Mark 15:26),


She heard the insults, the mocking, the taunts to save himself (Mark 15:29-32).

She heard him cry out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

She heard him cry out “I thirst” (John 19:28).

She heard his final words, “it is finished” (John 19:30) and her child was no more.

She heard and felt the earthquake (Matthew 27:54).

She probably heard the centurion guarding Jesus on the cross say, “surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).

“When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”” (John 19:26-27). In his final hours, he ensured the care of his mother, after his death, for he knew that she would need a home.

Throughout all that she saw and heard that day, I wonder …

I wonder if she heard words from the past echo in her heart and soul. Words that were prophesy about her …

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

These were the words spoken to Mary, by Simeon (Luke 2:35), when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus, as a baby, to the temple to offer him to the Lord.

Did she hear them, over and over, as she saw and heard all that was going on? As her son suffered? As her heart ached?

As a mom, I read this Holy Week story and experience it all through the heart of a mom … and my soul too, is pierced.


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